Are you like many parents across the United States, with students in grades K through 12 that are getting ready to go back to school, or already back in school? One of the tougher things as a parent is getting your child off the “sleep as long as you want” routine that happens in the summer, and onto the “you’d better get up or you’ll miss the bus” routine in the fall. This isn’t just a routine change for the kids, but as parents, you often have to get up earlier to get them ready for school. Here are some tips to ease you back into the school year sleep schedule…
1. Start a week before the first day of school to ease everyone back into the routine of getting up early. Get up a little earlier each morning, until you reach the time when you’ll get up for school.
2. Once you’ve reached a reasonable sleep and wake time, stick to it, even on weekends. Which is good even during the Summer months.
3. Listen to your body! When it’s tired, go to bed!
4. Stop playing video games, watching TV, or using other mobile devices well before bedtime. That includes adults as well as the Kids.
5. Cell phones, as a good rule should not stay in the room after bedtime. This will eliminate the temptation to send out one more text.
6. Get all chores and homework done well before bedtime. Don’t leave anything until the last minute, as your child’s mind and yours need time to settle before it’s time for “lights out”.
7. Start a tradition of reading a bedtime story…whether to your children, or just to oneself. It’s an excellent way to wind down.
8. Create a bedtime routine, both for you and your children. Start about an hour before it’s time for lights out, getting things done like packing books and laying out clothes for the next day, brushing teeth, and putting on pajamas. If you do the same thing each night before bed, the routine will start becoming a cue for everyone that it’s almost time for sleep.
9. Keep bedrooms cool and comfortable. The best temperature for sleep is between 60 and 68-degrees. Also eliminate unnecessary light in the room, as that can disrupt sleep.