10 Tips to Get Your Child Rested, Alert, and Ready For School Season
Here's how to get an A+ on back to school preparedness for your child
For some children, the school year has already begun. For others, it is right around the corner. As sleep technologists we may need to assist parents as they try to reinstate the school year schedule. (If you're wondering how to do this with teens, read our previous blog post on helping your teens sleep better.)
The following are 10 Tips to get your child rested, alert, and ready for school season:
1. Make the gradual change to earlier bedtimes about 10 days before the school year begins
It is even better if you can begin a few weeks in advance.
2. Keep the same schedule even on weekends if possible
This provides structure and reinforces the circadian rhythm for your children.
3. Use the same relaxing routine each night.
Make sure your child has a relaxing routine each night to promote sleep and prepare your child for bedtime with age appropriate activities prior to sleep
4. Eliminate all the electronics a few hours before bedtime
The light that is cast from these devices hinders your child’s ability to wind down. It is much better to have them read a book quietly prior to lights out time.
5. Make sure the bedroom is comfortable and uncluttered
It should also be on the cool side to promote better sleep, and should be dimly lit and quiet.
6. Caffeine as well as chocolate should be minimized and/or eliminated after lunchtime
Keep sugar intake to a minimum also.
7. Reduce the stress of the first day of school
Visit the school prior to the first day for a walk through if this is allowed. Try and walk through the locker area and to where the child’s classroom is. Doing so will take the mystery out of it and reduce stress.
8. Get healthy lunch snacks and start introducing these snacks prior to the start of the school year
This will allow you to see what is going to be consumed or “left in the lunch box”!
9. Make sure after care is arranged and that the child has all emergency contact information in place both at the school and at any daycare
Your child will sleep better knowing they have all the information they need to contact you in an emergency.
10. If a child snores and is tired during the day – make sure that they are seen by a sleep specialist
Too often, sleep issues in snoring, tired children are misdiagnosed in school as ADHD issues! Both overtired children and ADHD children behave in similar fashion so an accurate diagnosis is crucial!
All of these preparations will enable students to relax and sleep well prior to school as they will know their parents, and they, are well prepared for the new school year!
If you are a parent that pays attention to the above tips, you will “ace” the back to school process and align your child for a successful school year.