Many kids around the country are heading back to school this week, but for a large part of the U.S., summer break officially ends in the next week or two. It’s not something the kids really want to talk about, but right now is the best time to start preparing their sleep schedules.
It’s best to keep a similar schedule throughout the year, but sometimes we fall into bad habits during summer vacation. For the last couple of months, many kids have been staying up late at night and sleeping even later in the morning. Teenagers in particular are susceptible to falling into this schedule. While it’s okay when they don’t have to get up in the morning, it can be a miserable transition when school starts.
So, as you’re thinking of starting your back-to-school shopping, follow these tips to get your kids’ sleep schedules back to where they should be:
- Slowly slide back into the right schedule: If your child has gotten into the habit of staying up until 11 p.m. and sleeping until 11 a.m., start instituting a bedtime. It’s not realistic to suddenly expect them to go to bed at 9:00, so maybe make it a little earlier each week, coinciding with the proper bedtime when school starts in your area.
- Sick to the schedule: Stick to your schedule, even on the weekends. Adults and children all benefit from a regular sleep schedule seven days a week.
- Lay off the late night snacks: With staying up late comes late night snacking. Things like ice cream and sodas can sabotage your sleep, and lead to staying up later.
- Do a bedding check: While doing your shopping for backpacks and lunch boxes, update any bedding that’s gotten old. Pillows should be replaced every 18 months or so. For ideas, check out our Recommended Products page.
- Put down the electronics: This one is for everyone, including parents. Put your electronics away an hour or so before bed, and keep them out of the bedroom while you’re trying to sleep. The notifications can wait until morning.