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How can I get my child back on a sleep routine for the school year?

Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, MD
Emergency Medicine
You’ll want to start getting them adjusted to the new sleep schedule early, so they’re not shocked on the first day. It can be tough to just force them to go to bed earlier, so focus on the mornings at first. Wake them up 15 to 30 minutes earlier every morning for several days until they’re used to their school-day wake-up time. They’ll be sleepy at night, and this will help them accept the earlier bedtime.
 
To make bedtime easier, establish a good, consistent sleep routine:
  • Depending on the child’s age, this could include a bath, reading a story and then lights out, for example.
  • Turn off movies and TV before the bedtime routine, and keep all kinds of screens (TV, computer, tablet, phone) out of your child’s bedroom.
  • And make sure they get plenty of physical activity during the day. 
Children’s sleep needs depend on their age. For elementary-school kids, the recommendation is 10 to 11 hours each night. Tweens need about 9 to 10 hours, and teens 8 to 9.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.