Whether your children have been in school for several weeks or you’re just getting started, a lot of families could benefit from a good sleep schedule and routine. Studies have shown that in recent years, children are suffering from a lack of sleep. The National Sleep Foundation found that school-aged children should be getting between 9 and 11 hours of sleep each night and for teenagers, it’s between 8 and 10 hours.
So why is a back-to-school bedtime routine so important?
- Poor sleep is linked to behavioral issues, lower academic performance, and daytime drowsiness.
- Lack of sleep has been linked to anxiety & depression in teenagers.
- Kids thrive on routine and stability, so a routine encourages them to get the sleep they need.
How to implement a bedtime routine:
- Set a bedtime. Studies show that even teenagers do better with a set bedtime each night.
- Shift bedtime back by 15 minutes for several days at a time if you need to get the kids to bed earlier than you are right now.
- Talk with your children about what a routine would look like for them. Depending on age, it may include a bath or shower, wind-down time with a book, or a snuggle with mom or dad for younger children.
- Set a timer to start the routine if the whole family is having trouble staying on track each night.
Other things you can do to improve sleep for children:
- Limit blue light screen time in the evening.
- Remove screens from bedrooms.
- Make their bedroom a cozy, sleep inducing space that is dark and cool.
- Have them get plenty of activity and exercise.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Avoid caffeine.
We hope this helps get your school year on the right track!