Back to School Routine: 

How Much Sleep Your Child Really Needs

Written by Megan Stewart, National Jewish Health

Back to school season is upon us and there’s plenty parents can do now to make sure their kids are ready to go on that first day back in the classroom.

Rest Up

The key is start establishing a routine while there’s still a few weeks left in summer break.  Experts at National Jewish Health recommend resetting a child’s sleep schedule at least two weeks before school starts.

Make it easy

Each night move your child’s bedtime earlier by about 15 minutes, and wake them up about 15 minutes earlier every morning. This will make sure that when school starts they are able to get the amount of sleep they need to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day.

Keys to Success

At least 30 minutes before bedtime, turn off all electronics and allow your child time to wind down. A consistent bedtime routine should include relaxing activities, such as a bath and a bed-time story (for young children) or reading time (for older children).

Create a proper sleeping environment.

Bedrooms should be cool, dark, and comfortable. Get technology out of the bedroom. Computers, televisions, video games, and cell phones should be removed from your child’s room and set up in a different location.

The Right Amount

Sleep experts have created this easy reference guide.  Click here to see how much sleep is recommended for children in different age groups:

What to Watch For

25-40% of kids will have a sleep problem at some point during their childhood.  A warning sign is children who may display almost ADHD-like behavior when tired, a sign that they’re sleep deprived.

Prove It

Is your district debating school start times?  Research shows there are benefits to pushing back the beginning of the school day.  Learn more here:

Healthy Magazine

Healthy Mag is staffed by a team of journalists, researchers and health experts who have a goal of presenting you with useful information that you actually want to read.

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