Schedule shifting in the summer time leads to a sleep deficit. I know that, I teach that, and yet this summer we fell into some late nights and late mornings. Although my children are older now (11 and 12), they still require a good amount of sleep to function in school (9-10 hours). Learn a few key points to re-pattern your child’s sleep now to help your child be successful with the coming school start.
This blog is devoted to getting back
to an early-to-bed and early-to-rise routine in preparation for school.
This goes for ANY formalized schooling, pre-school or day care.
Routine is the Key to Your Child’s Sleep and the School Start
Your child’s sleep and the school start doesn’t have to be a nightmare! The routine is the key. You will want to consider the following in shifting the routine of the morning as well as the nighttime:
- What time does school start?
- How long does it take to get to school?
- How much transition time does your child need?
- How much time does your child need in the morning to NOT feel rushed?
- How many hours of sleep does your child need?
- How long does it take your child to fall asleep?
- What time is your child in bed?
- How long is your bedtime ritual?
- How much time do you need for dinner and pre-bedtime ritual to NOT feel rushed?
- What time do you get home from work?
After considering these elements of the list above you will be working backwards to figure out what time dinner is, to then make room for all of the elements, that lead up to the bedtime ritual, that ultimately lead to a reasonable asleep time for your child.
Start to make changes in 15 minute increments – Many families try to make changes in too large of a time chunk. If you make it your goal to get to bed 15-minutes earlier each night or shaving off 15-minutes of any given element of the nightly routine it will be easier to meet your goal. It will also make it more peaceful and less of a power struggle with your child(ren).
Preparation is key – Preparing your child for the new routine will help. Depending on the age of your child, you do not necessarily need to inform her that bedtime is getting pushed up earlier.
- For the under 5 crowd involve them in the nightly routine and ritual by saying what it will look like. Show what it will look like and then repeat it each night. Work on making the moment they hit the pillow 15-minutes earlier each night.
- For the 6 and up crowd you will want to involve them in this goal of an earlier bedtime. This is an important part of self-care we want to teach our children. We are doing this for their brain health and their educational well-being. We want them to value these parts of themselves and value this part of their lives.
Children perform better in school when they receive the adequate care: good nutrition, a supportive, nurturing environment, and adequate sleep. Children of all ages need to be able to engage in their learning in active ways and to be able to process the information learned. Good, sound sleep allows students to succeed in and out of school. Help them adjust to the change back to the school schedule by adjusting their sleep patterns now.