10 Tips to Get Kids on a Sleep Schedule
One of the best routines you can get your kids in is a good sleep schedule, especially since they are getting ready to head back to school. Your child getting better grades could depend on a better sleep schedule.
As your children head back to school, it is important to get them back into their school routine. Your kids have probably been staying up a little later and sleeping in a little longer during summer break. If you don’t start getting them back into the swing of things, they may find themselves sleep-deprived when they head back to school.
Now that you’re ready to get a plan together, you need to know how much sleep your child needs. For children 6 to 11 years old, it is recommended that they get 10 to 11 hours a night. For children 12 to 18 years old, it is recommended that they get at least 9 hours a night. This can be hard especially when there are toys to play with and friends to text with.
Kids and Sleep: The Problems of Deprivation
When school rolls back around, many kids don’t get the sleep they need. Lack of sleep can impact their ability to learn and focus in the classroom. In fact, it might very well be true that better sleep leads to better grades. The more rested a child is the better they will be able to pay attention in class and cause less disruptions.
Sure-Fire Strategies for Sound Sleep
There are several ways that you can get your kids into a good sleeping routine and get them ready to go back to school. Follow these easy steps and your child is sure to be well rested for their first day!
- Start early. Since summer break tends to get kids out of their sleep routine, experts recommend starting the back-to-school schedule early to get them back into it. About three weeks before their first day of school, children should be getting re-acclimated to their school-day schedule.
- Set the time. Figure out what your household’s typical wake-up time is. If your family typically wakes up at 6 to 6:30 a.m., the bedtime for most school-age and teenage children will be around 8 p.m. Do your best to stick to this even though the kids are still in summer-mode.
- Turn off the electronics. To help your kids start winding down, all electronics, including the TV, video games, computers, and cell phones, should be shut off an hour prior to bedtime. If possible, the electronics should be removed from your child’s room and inaccessible to them at night. Kids will stay awake longer than what parents realize so it’s important to limit the distractions they have access to.
- Reserve their bed for sleeping. While reading a bed-time story is great to help your child wind down, experts suggest having kids read in a separate chair or area, so that the bed is used exclusively for sleeping.
- Eliminate any caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that will keep anyone up at night, if consumed too late in the day. It is best that children do not consume caffeine at all, but if they do, they should not consume any after lunchtime. If your child has caffeine after lunch time, you are risking a difficult night of getting to sleep, ruining their sleep and yours!
- Set the mood. To promote good sleep, think about the child’s room itself. The rooms should be dark, cool, and quiet to promote good sleep for your child. Nightlights are okay, but other than that there should be no lights on in the bedroom (including light from the TV or other electronics).
- Set the rules. We all know that our kids will try to get an extra five minutes or ask for 5 glasses of water to avoid going to bed. It is up to you to set the rules and make sure they are clear to your child. Let them know how many stories they can read before bed time, what time the lights go out at, and when it is okay for them to call for you. Setting a routine will help eliminate some of the questions and requests during tuck-in.
- Be A Role Model. Kids often mimic what they see the adults in their lives doing. One of the best ways that you can get your child to adopt good sleeping habits is to follow the habits yourself. If your child sees the family getting ready to go to bed at 8 p.m. they are less likely to put up a fight rather than if they hear the rest of the family laughing at the TV and wanting to be a part of it.
- Set next summer’s/breaks hours. When the holiday breaks or summer rolls back around, do your best to stay as close to the school-day sleeping schedule as possible. This will ease the transition when it is time for the kids to return to school.
These strategies will work wonders when it comes to getting your child ready to go back to school and easing the hassle of bed-time for you!