Back to school bedtime routines
It rolls around every year. That first morning of school, when those kids drag out of bed, exhausted and fuzzy-brained after getting five hours of sleep the night before.
Of course they’re sleep deprived. The summer schedule meant to bed by midnight or 1 a.m., up at 9-10 a.m. Especially with those in middle and high school, it’s a battle to get them to bed during the summer.
And now’s the time to start. About a month before the start of school, ease them into a more normal routine. Parents.com notes that the elementary crowd needs around 10 hours a sleep a night, while teens need 8-9.
Their suggestion? Start a pre-bedtime routine that might include setting out clothes, a warm bath, and a quiet activity. Start slowly pushing bedtime toward more “normal” hours, about 15 minutes every three days.
All pros suggest shutting off all electronic devices an hour before bedtime. What to do with that time? Read to your younger kids. Play a game with the older kids, or just hang out and talk, if they’ll let you.
Another winning idea? Wake them up the morning before school starts at the hour they’ll be waking up the next day, and take them out to eat at their favorite breakfast joint.
A few other great tips?
- Redesign family evening routines. For instance, if you’ve pushed dinner hour to 8 p.m., back it up to 6 or earlier.
- Ensure their room is cool, quiet and calm.
- Get rid of those sugary snacks, and especially caffeine, later in the day.
- Set a good example by hitting the sheets early yourself. Studies show that many adults are sleep deprived.
In short, to stop the morning “get-out-of-bed” battles, and keep your kids healthy and working their best, it’s wise to start now to shake those bad summertime habits.
Read more articles about back to school here.