This post was sponsored by American Academy of Sleep Medicine. All views and text are mine.
School is back and after a summer of late nights and laid-back mornings, now our kids have to adjust to the earlier bedtimes and wake-up calls. Transitioning back into the new school year routine can get challenging for many children and families. But with some advance planning, the switch from summer to Fall doesn’t have to hurt as much.
Here are a few helpful tips to ensure a smoother, easier sleep transition for your child:
Set new sleep habits but do it in small increments. Ease the transition back to early mornings by implementing a bedtime. Ensure that bedtimes and wake-up times for young children are already set about a few weeks before the first day of school. Gradually move this time back in 15-minute increments until you reach the appropriate times for your child’s school schedule. Setting it back slowly will make early school hours easier to handle.
Have a “wind down” time before bedtime. To develop a calm, relaxing bedtime routine and a restful sleep each night, find time for the kids to wind down at least 30 minutes before bed. This means ending all rough and tumble play, dimming the lights, avoiding all sugary sweets and snacks and turning off all electronics.
Be aware of how much sleep your child needs. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, sleep is essential for optimal health in children and adolescents. So it’s important to be aware of how much your child actually needs. It’s a known fact that sleeping the number of recommended hours on a regular basis is associated with better health outcomes including: improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life, and mental and physical health.
Fortunately, the National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project has made it easier for us to identify the appropriate bedtime for children, teens and adults with their new online Bedtime Calculator. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Sleep Research Society (SRS) have all partnered with this project and developed the calculator as part of the “Make Time 2 Sleep” campaign to help families adopt routines that fit each individual’s unique lifestyle and sleep needs.
The online Bedtime Calculator allows schoolchildren, teens and parents of young children to enter an age and wake time to identify an appropriate bedtime based on the sleep duration recommendations of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine:
- Infants 4 months to 12 months old: 12 to 16 hours (including naps)
- Children 1 to 2 years old: 11 to 14 hours (including naps)
- Children 3 to 5 years old: 10 to 13 hours (including naps)
- Children 6 to 12 years old: nine to 12 hours per night.
- Teenagers 13 to 18 years old: eight to 10 hours per night
Children, teens and adults all need sufficient sleep, so it’s great to know that we adults can also use the Bedtime Calculator to help us get the recommended seven or more hours of nightly sleep.
For more information on the importance of healthy sleeping and other related articles, go to www.sleepeducation.org
These are great tips! We always had wind down time before bed and always stuck with our routine. The sleep calculator is a great resource for parents to see what kids need.
My kids are great about getting up in the morning. We have reading time before bed that helps them relax and fall asleep easier.
Small steps has always made it easiest on my girl. Trying to rush into bigger changes never turns out well.
I had no idea my eight year old needed so much sleep time. Luckily for us he likes to go to bed early and wake up early so school hours are never a hassle.
I woke up today at 7:40 my son needs to be in school at 7:30 next week. I think we are in trouble and need to get him regulated fast. Great tips.
This is awesome! Would be perfect for my kids! Thank you for sharing!
I Ioved the relaxed schedules of summer, but it’s time to get back into routine. My kids all need that wind down time. Otherwise they are bouncing off the walls with exhausted energy.
As summer was coming to a close we started adjusting sleeping schedules 15 minutes at a time. It helped make the first few weeks at school a little easier since it wasn’t a total shock getting up again.
I set up a routine for the kids for bed time because it really helps them sleep better at night. It’s tough when they don’t get enough sleep, they’re unproductive and have no energy to go to school at all!
Getting good sleep is key to a successful school day. The wind down time before bed makes such a big impact on how kids are able to fall asleep. Great tips.
That’s so true. Sleep is very important and gives the kids more energy especially when they’re back in school. I think these are great tips!
Great tips here! We always start doing the 15 minute go to bed early and wake up early starting about 2 weeks before school starts. It’s worked so far and my daughter just started 8th grade.
I think we all have a better tomorrow when we get enough sleep, kids and adults alike. I am guilty of not getting enough sleep myself at times.
Back to school really is a time when both parents and kids need to recalibrate our sleep schedules. Thanks so much for so good tips to ease the process for the whole family.
I’m so dreading this with back to school the most. These are excellent tips and I will definitely be using them.
Getting enough sleep is paramount for a good education. These are great tips for making sure your kid gets enough sleep and is ready to conquer the school year.
This is such an important topic, I think we don’t realize the amount of sleep a child really needs. We either have them sleeping too much or not quite enough. Very helpful tips on back to school sleeping!
This is SO helpful! I had no idea how much sleep my kids needed- I’ve been a little off!
I like to start putting the kids to bed earlier about two weeks before school starts. Mornings are so much easier when the kids are well rested.
“Wind down” time helps me a lot! I feel so much better when I’m well-rested. The bedtime calculator should help!
School can definitely drain them, so even naps are helpful after school for littler ones. These are great tips!
I think it is very important for kids have a good time even when there is not school. They just need their sleep. With the school you’re starting up again we have definitely changed into the school routine which includes going to bed earlier.
That calculator is awesome! We’ve always made sure our kids got enough sleep and enough good sleep. At least we thought we did. It looks like our kids aren’t getting quite enough.
I love the tips here. We always have our kids shut down all of their devices an hour before bedtime. That winding down time that’s free of blue light is key to helping them get to sleep.