Written By Tara Edick, Physician Assistant
Brought to you by St. Anthony Summit Medical Center
The end of summer break is right around the corner. As you prepare to head back to school this fall, it is important to pay attention to your child’s sleep schedule.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that any school-age child receive between nine to 11 hours of sleep each night. But it is important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all number to how much sleep your child needs each night. Some kids might need more than 11 hours, however, kids rarely do well with less than nine.
Watching your child’s behavior is a great way to recognize if he or she is getting the correct amount of sleep. If your child is acting sleepy or cranky during the day, is hard to get out of bed in the morning or has trouble focusing on schoolwork and other tasks, you should consider adjusting your child’s sleep schedule.
Here are some tips to help your child ease back into a new sleep schedule and help make sure that he or she does not start the school year on the wrong side of the bed:
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- Gradually re-establish a school sleep schedule – incrementally enforce a bedtime and wake your child up when you would need to during the school year, prior to the first week of school.
- Maintain a consistent bedtime routine – before bedtime, start a “quiet time” to allow your child to unwind. The routine should include relaxing activities, such as a bath and a bed-time story or a reading time.
- Avoid big meals close to bedtime– a late meal could prevent your child from falling asleep.
- Avoid caffeine – sodas and other caffeinated…
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