The Harris Teeter yourwellness team hopes your entire family has enjoyed a wonderful summer, and now it’s time to get ready for the start of school. To ensure smooth sailing through this transition period between the lazy, playful days of summer and the rigors of the school year, it’s best to get everyone into a good sleep routine even before the school year starts.
Your children have likely gotten spoiled over the summer by getting the chance to stay up late, but the days of early morning awakenings are fast approaching. Don’t wait to make sure they’re getting enough sleep to perform well at school – here are some helpful hints:
- One week before classes start have the children go to bed early as if they were attending school in the morning. Letting your children stay up late until the day before school makes it unlikely they’ll be fully awake and alert for the first few days of class.
- Establish a set bed time so your children can get the 9-11 hours of sleep they need nightly in order to be at their best.
- Once you set a time for them to be in bed, gently but firmly enforce the rules.
- Along the same lines, be a good role model – if you’re staying up late, drinking multiple cups of coffee in the morning to get going, and complaining of being tired all the time, what kind of message does that send to your children? Go to bed at a set time each night to give yourself the best chance of getting at least 7 hours of sleep.
- Limit high-sugar snacks and caffeinated beverages after 3:00. In fact, keep caffeinated beverages, especially the so-called “energy drinks,” out of your children’s hands. That’s a habit you don’t want to encourage.
- Turn all electronic gadgets off and lights down about an hour before bedtime. Exciting video games, TV shows, and loud music don’t set the stage for falling asleep easily. On the other hand, soft music can help prepare your little ones for sleep, and playing relaxing music at a set time each night establishes a ritual that can be enjoyable, even comforting, for the entire family.
Start the school year off right by making sure not only your children but the whole family is getting a good night’s sleep. Use the tips above to help your children awaken refreshed and ready to learn each morning from the first day of school to the last. Having a plan in place will help you rest easy!
** Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. **