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Summer to School Transition: Sleep Schedules

Back-to-School sales….School supplies filling the shelves…

And, perhaps you, too, itch to buy new notebooks and pencils.  Have you seen how many new composition book covers there are?  No more plain old black and white!

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The real reality though, is GETTING KIDS BACK IN A ROUTINE.  You may be fighting it as much as they are but you’ll thank yourself for starting early – on the bedtime routine, especially.

Use the “10” Method:

  • Start 10 days before school begins
  • 10 minute earlier bedtime
  • 10 minute earlier wake-up time

Your challenge is to be consistent!

Use the following sleep recommendations and plug them into your schedule and you’ll know what time they need to be asleep so that they get the recommended amount.

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The National Sleep Foundation updated their recommendations in 2015:

  • Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours
  • Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours
  • Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours
  • School age children (6-13): 9-11 hours
  • Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours
  • Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours
  • Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours
  • Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours (a new age category)

The National Sleep Foundation also notes, “One of the reasons it’s so hard to know when our kids are getting insufficient sleep is that drowsy children don’t necessarily slow down the way we do—they wind up.

In fact, sleepiness can look like symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Children often act as if they’re not tired, resisting bedtime and becoming hyper as the evening goes on. All this can happen because the child is overtired.”

My teenager stays awake late and then can’t get up in the morning!

Teen’s body clocks change and they do become night owls.

Enlist their help in planning a structured evening/morning routine so they get optimal sleep (catching up on the weekend doesn’t count…)

Some things to watch:

  • No caffeine 6 hours before sleep.
  • No media 2 hours before sleep
  • NO MEDIA in the bedroom (including phones) – some parents require phones parked in their room overnight.

And of course…by now, they should be setting an alarm and getting themselves up without your help!  (You won’t be at college to wake them up…)

Lack of sleep is harmful!

Studies show that lack of sleep affects our ability to focus and learn efficiently PLUS sleep is needed to make learning stick so it can be recalled in the future.

Help your kids be their best by helping them get enough sleep this school year!


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