Summer vacations go very fast. So, after the vacations, it is very important to get children back on track before the first day of school.
To start, begin their school sleep schedule about two weeks before school starts. If you don’t have that much time, don’t worry, just start today.
One way to begin and maintain a sleep schedule is to start having your child go to bed fifteen minutes earlier and then wake up fifteen minutes earlier each morning until you reach the desired school night bedtime.
So, what is a good bedtime for your kids and how much sleep do they need? That depends on their age and individual needs.
Sleep Schedule by Age
This is a general guide to assign a sleep schedule for your child. You know your child best so adjust as needed.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, this is how much sleep a child needs each night.
Ages 0–2 years: 10–13 hours (including naps)
Ages 3–5 years: 09–12 hours (including naps)
Ages 6–12 years: 08–10 hours
Ages 13–18 years: 07–08 hours
If you have a third-grader who needs to be up at 7 am, they’ll need to be asleep by about 9 pm on average. A teenager needs to be sleeping by around 10 pm. This is after bedtime routines, like brushing teeth, picking out clothes for the next day, and reading bedtime stories.
How to Practice Healthy Sleeping Habits
There’s more to getting a good night’s sleep than just having a set bedtime routine. Healthy sleeping habits also need to be adopted. Such habits include:
Limited Screen Time
Be sure all electronics are turned off at least an hour before bed. Keep mobile phones and tablets out of the bedrooms at night. The sounds and lights from these devices will interrupt a good night’s sleep.
Calm Sleeping Environment
You’ll want your child to fall asleep quickly. To achieve this, create a calm sleeping environment for them. Wind down and relax with them in their room before bedtime by reading a book, having a nice conversation, or singing them to sleep. A warm bath or shower before bed is also very calming.
Encourage your children to get plenty of exercise. This should be done after school and not close to bedtime. Exercise will help the body fall asleep and stay asleep.
The Importance of Sleep
Our bodies shut down without sleep. Children need plenty of sleep to concentrate and accomplish academic achievement throughout the day of school. By following the above guide and establishing healthy sleeping habits, you can ensure your child will be rejuvenated each morning and ready to face the challenges and fun the school day brings.
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