We have some important tips to help parents transition their families from a summer sleep (or lack thereof) schedule to a school sleep schedule. Your kids are thwarted at every turn by electronics, social media, less-than-ideal bedroom set-ups and even their own bad habits.
With just weeks to go before the school year, Dr. Michael Breus, the “Sleep Doctor” comes armed with the most up-to-date advice for you. Here is Your Free “Sleep Makeover”.
- About 2 weeks before school starts, have your child go to bed 15 minutes earlier than they normally do, then after three days of this make it 30 minutes and so on, until they are within 30 minutes of what should be their normal bedtime.
- Begin to limit or eliminate caffeine intake by about 2:30 p.m., many people do not know that caffeine can stay in your system for 10 hours (this includes energy drinks as well). Check the label on some vitamin waters – they may have caffeine.
- Even if you cannot get your children to go to bed any earlier (which you really should try) get them waking up closer and closer to their school time wake up time. This will help provide an anchor to their already shifting biological rhythm.
- Exercising each day will certainly help their sleep, so keep them outside as long as you can (use sunscreen) and in the pool so they will be nice and tired (particularly for younger children) for bed. Remember to make the bedroom dark, as in many cases you may be asking them to go to bed before the sun has completely set.
- Start to have them “unplugged and powered down” an hour before bed. Have them relaxing, reading, and getting back into a bedtime routine.
Great ideas, right?!?!