Summer always seems to breeze by so quickly, and before we know, it’s time to gear up for another year of school. While you and your kids might be thinking about back-to-school clothes, shopping for supplies and a new classroom, chances are you’re probably not thinking much about the change in sleep patterns that is about to occur.
The combination of long summer days, no homework and fewer early rises, have likely left your kids going to bed later than usual and sleeping in as well. While some may have stuck to a strict sleep schedule, chances are the return to school is going to take some adjustment. And considering how important a good night’s sleep can be, especially for a young mind and body, getting your kids back on track for sleep sooner than later, will save both of you in many ways once school begins.
If the sleep patterns of children (and adults) are disrupted dramatically and for an extended period of time, it can have a significant effect on their mood, behavior, growth and cognitive ability. This can be particularly detrimental at school where children need to be alert, attentive and energized. According to National Sleep Foundation, children aged five to 12 need 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night on a consistent schedule, while teens need about 9 hours of sleep each night to function their best. And while most kids often fall short of those recommendations, it’s important to work with your kids to make sure they can get close to those numbers.
As you and your kids make the transition back to the school year, check out these recommendations from the National Sleep Foundation for helping to get back on track for a healthy sleep schedule.
What tips do you have for helping kids get back on a good sleep schedule for the school year?