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As parents, we all get a little lax about bedtime in the summer. Longer days and fewer responsibilities lead to late nights playing with friends, swimming in the pool, and catching fireflies. Waking up early for school can be a rude awakening if you don’t prepare your kids for the schedule change. Keep reading to find out what other parents recommend you do to adjust bedtime before school starts.
Mo Mulla

Mo Mulla

Mo Mulla, Founder of Parental Questions.

3 Tips for Establishing Healthy Sleep Patterns

Sleep is as essential to cognitive function and academic performance in kids as it is in adult brains. It’s essential to make sure your child is getting enough sleep. A sleep schedule is best established at night, so it’s a good idea to start cutting down on evening screen time an hour or two before bedtime. Avoid caffeine after lunch and dinner for a few days to allow circadian patterns to recalibrate and avoid sugar-filled snacks that can disrupt concentration later.

Encourage outdoor play during the day with natural light exposure. Stop the use of electronics outside besides for children 15 years of age. It can negatively affect healthy mental development in the young.

Start Putting Kids to Bed Earlier in Advance

The proper bedtime for waking up early for school will vary depending on the children’s ages and morning routines but consistency will remain key no matter what.

Planning some morning activities on the days before school starts can help motivate kids to go to bed earlier knowing that they’ll have to wake up earlier can be a great way to establish a routine. These can also be fun activities too, such as going to the beach, waterpark, or other summer activities before they have to go back to school.

Eddie Huai

Eddie Huai

Eddie Huai, I’m the CEO of Luna Blanket.
Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson, Founder of Sawinery.

Gradually Move Bedtime

This process worked on my kids. Two years ago, during vacation, they got used to sleeping very late at night, so I had to do something to reset their sleep habits by gradually putting them to bed earlier.

A month before classes start, I put them to bed at 10 pm for a week. The week after that, at 9 pm. Then, the week after at 8 pm. The last adjustment was to 7:30 pm. This week-long interval is not easy, though. The kids cried a lot, but I made a strong stance on sleep time. Eventually, they were able to sleep early again, just in time for the school season.

Make Changes Well in Advance

It’s best to start working toward bedtime early so that you can adjust the schedule by just 15 minutes a day until you hit your desired bedtime. Doing this helps make sure they fall asleep instead of lying awake, or worse, getting out of bed when they should be sleeping.

Alexander Burgemeester

Alexander Burgemeester

Alexander Burgemeester, Neuropsychiatrist, and Founder of TheNarcissisticLife.

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