The end of summer means your kids are going back to school. They’re excited about seeing their friends, maybe they’re excited about learning new things. Maybe you’re excited to get some structure back in their lives. A structured schedule means set times for going to bed and waking up.
Don’t lose sleep over cranky children who may be resistant to a morning routine. With these tips for getting your kids back on track for back-to-school, your mornings will be seamless.
The Two-Week Rule
Set bedtimes and morning wake-up times for your kids 14 days before school starts. If necessary, you can make it a gradual process, using 15-30 minute intervals to ease the pain of transitioning to a set schedule.
Limit Screen Time Before Bedtime
Have your child turn off all electronics one to two hours before his or her bedtime. If your child has a TV in his or her bedroom, consider removing it to promote successful sleep habits.
Set Earlier Meal Times
Don’t let your kids eat two to four hours before they go to bed. You may have to adjust your meal times, but eating early will help your kids avoid digestive discomfort, and that translates to better and more productive sleep.
Active Play Means a Happy Day
Get out and get moving in the afternoons leading up to the first day of school. Get them tired and ready for bed. However, too much stimulation is bad for sleep, so you’ll want to wrap things up two to three hours before bedtime.
Eliminate or Minimize Caffeine
Caffeine consumption should stop eight hours before your kids go to sleep. A caffeine buzz is not at all conducive to a good night’s sleep.
Healthy habits cannot happen unless you enforce good behaviors. Consistent bedtimes and wake times are key.