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Back to School Sleep

August 14, 2018

It’s back-to-school time! 

For most parents this is an exciting time of year- until they realize that the sleep schedule that their children were keeping over the summer won’t cut it once school starts. 

It’s not uncommon for children to go to bed and wake up later in the summer (and over holidays); the key is how to get them back on schedule for a good first day of school. 

Sleep schedule adjustment should be gradual which means starting 10-14 days prior to the first day.  Move your child’s wake-up time earlier by 30-60 minutes every few days until they’re waking up when they need to for a school day.  By doing this you’ll ensure that they’ll be tired and then go to bed earlier and thus adjusting their schedule.  Trying to have them go to bed earlier without an earlier wake up tends not to work as well.  And don’t forget normal sleep hygiene.  Have a relaxing bedtime ritual that is the same every night.  Create a cool, dark, quiet, and comfortable sleeping environment. 

Most importantly there should be no electronics in the bedroom and use of electronics should be stopped in the hour before sleep.  This includes video games, phones, TV, tablets, and computers. 

Hopefully this information will help everyone in the family have a safe and trouble free transition back to school! 

If you have any questions, contact your pediatrician.

Alaina Brown, MD FAAP
Pediatric Associates of Charlottesville

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