Bedtime Tips for Back to School

Summertime can be a welcome break from the rigid structure of the school system. However, the loss of a set schedule can be hard for children and young adults once it comes time to go back to school. A good day starts with a good night’s sleep, so it is important to establish a bedtime routine for school nights. Here are a few tips to help transition back to school.
 
Establish bedtime. Begin enforcing bedtime at least two weeks prior to the first day back to school. Start by going to bed a little earlier each night and waking them earlier each day until the desired times are in place. Once you have that schedule, stick to it everyday including weekends. This will ensure that the transition from summertime to school days is much less disruptive.
 
Establish a bedtime routine. Plan activities before bedtime including bath, reading, and quiet time to allow the child to relax and unwind. Younger children in particular need structure to thrive, and having a structured schedule will ensure that everyone gets to bed on time so that they can get a good night's sleep.
 
Limit caffeine and sugar intake. Caffeine and sugar can interfere with sleep or getting to sleep. Keep soda intake to a minimum after 12 noon and limit sugar intake in the afternoon towards the evening. 
 
Limit screen time. Cut off screen time at least an hour before bed. TV, video games, and cell phones should not be used in the bedroom. They are mental distractions and the light is not conducive to a good night's sleep.
 
Create a calm sleep environment. A cool, quiet inviting bedroom will encourage your children to want to go to bed. A comfortable bed and dim lights help to promote sleep. This means ensuring that the aforementioned screens do not interfere with your child's sleep. 
 
Lead by example. Students aren't the only one who can benefit from having a set sleep schedule. Adults who have a consistent sleep schedule tend to be more energetic and productive at work, and show lowered levels of stress when compared to their peers that do not exhibit healthy sleep habits. When your children see you on a sleep schedule, it will motivate them to do the same and contribute to a more harmonious household.
 
Having an established bedtime routine can help students be better prepared for the upcoming semester of school.