What’s Right for Your Child

Don’t wait until the night before school starts to adjust your child’s bedtime. The sudden change could make it difficult for him to fall (and stay) asleep. Instead, slowly start making bedtime earlier about two weeks before the first day (try pushing it forward 5 to 15 minutes each day). This will help your child’s circadian rhythm adjust to the new schedule. Not sure what time to set bedtime? Kids ages 7 to 12 need to 10 to 11 hours of sleep, while older kids need 8 to 9 hours.

Calming activities, such as reading a book or taking a bath, can help your child wind down for bedtime. Plus, if you repeat the same process nightly, the routine will eventually cue your child’s brain and body that it’s time to sleep.

Keep electronics out of the bedroom, since they can lead to poor sleep. Not only can the “dings” of text messages wake your child, but the blue light that many devices emit may promote wakefulness. Make a rule that all devices need to be turned off one hour before bed.

Source: National Sleep Foundation