How To Help Your Child Adjust Their Sleep Schedule for School

In the summer, children and teen’s bedtimes tend to become more lax. Now, as school has started, it’s important to establish bedtimes and bedtime routines to ensure that your children get the rest they need to do their best in school.

Here are five tips to help children establish a back-to-school sleep routine:

  • A bath or shower, followed by a story helps grade school children and younger to relax into sleep.

  • Make sure your child flosses and brushes their teeth before bed. See my tips on toothbrush choices here.

  • For older children, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all screens be turned off at least one hour before bedtime so teens have time to wind down. 

  • If school bedtime is much different from summer bedtime, gradually shift bedtime, putting your kids to bed 15 minutes earlier each night..

Why Sleep Matters

Researchers have found that kids need much more sleep than adults to support their growth and development. Pre-schoolers should get 10 to 13 hours of sleep a day, grade-schoolers should get nine to 12 hours and teens should sleep eight to 10 hours, according to a 2017 study published in 2017 in Academic Pediatrics. This may not appear realistic, but it is a guideline. Try sleeping on it. 

Kids who don’t get enough sleep — even an hour or so less than recommended — may have trouble paying attention, sitting still or keeping their emotions in check at school, sleep psychologist Lisa J. Meltzer, an associate professor of pediatrics at National Jewish Health in Denver, told USA Today.