How to Get your Child on a Back-to-School Sleep Schedule- 5 Tips

by Eva Klein
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Is your child having trouble adjusting to sleeping early from staying up late and sleeping in on the weekend? Or are they still in summer mode? It’s time to say goodbye to your child’s relaxed sleep schedule and re-introduce a more structured routine!

Here are 5 tips on getting your children back onto a healthy sleep routine for school:

1. Gradually shift their bedtime earlier

If your child needs to wake up at 7am to make it to school on time, but he’s currently going to bed very late and sleeping in every morning, NOW is the time to implement an earlier bedtime (and earlier wake time!) so that his biological clock has time to adjust to his new schedule.

2. Cut down on screen time

Summer time usually means more time in front of the television and video games.  The problem with electronics is that they emit blue light which can suppress the production of melatonin, which is the hormone your body produces to induce sleep.  I recommend shutting off all screens at least 1-2 hours before bedtime so that your child’s body can properly wind down and prepare for sleep.

3. Cut down on sugar

Freezies, popsicles, and ice cream are just a few examples of many favourite summertime treats.  However, one of many problems with feeding children too much sugar is that it can make it difficult to settle down before bed.  Be careful what you feed your children, especially at nighttime, so that nothing interferes with their sleep.

4. Bring back the bedtime routine

Having a consistent, age-appropriate wind down routine is a great way to help children relax and prepare for bedtime.  Even though these routines are often pushed to the side during the summer months, I highly recommend reintroducing them before the school year starts.  Don’t be afraid to tweak or modify the routine by adding new activities- just make sure the bedtime routine is consistent, relaxing, and enjoyable!

5. Ensure your child is getting the sleep she needs

Children need the right amount of sleep every night in order to be able to grow, learn and concentrate in school.  The symptoms of sleep deprivation in children often resemble those of ADHD, sometimes leading to an incorrect diagnosis!  Sleep deprivation is no joke and ensuring your child is getting the sleep she needs is an investment in her health and well-being.

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