Monday, August 11, 2008

Time To Reset Family Sleep Schedule

I know, it has been fun. Summertime and the schedules get easy. Without the morning school bell to wake up for, our bedtimes have become somewhat relaxed. Our wake times too. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but it's now time to start back onto a sensible bedtime plan. And don't shoot the messenger, the National Sleep Foundation urges parents to start resetting our children's sleep clocks a few weeks before school starts. Like around now.

“Although it's tempting to sleep as late as possible during the remaining days of summer, it's not necessarily the best strategy for starting the school year off right,” says Richard L. Gelula, NSF’s chief executive officer. “In fact, a lack of sleep seriously affects academic performance, mood and a teenager’s ability to drive safely."

Here are several tips to adjust gradually to the fall schedule:
  • Start pushing bedtime/wake time 15 minutes earlier each day. Start a few weeks before school starts.
  • Enjoy the last days of summer in the mornings, with activities outdoors in the sun. Don't emphasize TV as a summer perk.
  • Be consistent, even on weekends. This will ease the transition to morning alertness.
  • Push dinnertime to an earlier hour. Avoid caffeine/ sugars close to bedtime.
  • Remember, an ideal sleep environment: cool, dark, quiet, comfy.
  • No electronics bleeping, buzzing, whirring.
  • Set a good example as a parent.
Believe it or not, children and teens actually need more sleep than adults. Let's help them form good bedtime habits.

Other resources:
Sleep For Kids
National Sleep Foundation

1 comment: said...

Thanks so much for coming by my blog and commenting. That's so cool that you linked over from ProBlogger. That site is awesome! I really like you blog. It's super informative, tons of great stuff. I really like the sleep tips. I'm trying to adjust my schedule as we speak!