sleepingAs the calendar turns from July to August, back to school reminders are everywhere.  And while it may seem premature to start thinking of school, it is not too soon to start thinking about getting everyone ready for what’s to come.  We’ve put together four tips to help get your child ready to what’s to come in September.

Tip #1: Gradually adjust bedtime.  Try starting two weeks before the start of school and gradually adjust the time they go to bed.  Summer is often a period of  vacations and a more relaxed bedtime.  Adjusting the bedtime slowly will allow for a smoother transition to the regimented school schedule.  It also helps your child’s circadian rhythms to adjust to the new schedule.  Remember that kids under 12 need 10-11 hours of sleep per night, and older kids still need 8-10 hours per night.

Tip #2: Create a bedtime routine.  A nigh time routine will help signal the brain that rest will soon happen.  Calming activities such as reading or even a bath will help condition the brain to relax and prepare for sleep.

Tip #3: Don’t let the weekends derail you.  Try to keep the bedtime consistent on the weekends so that Monday morning is not a battle.  Remember that consistency is important for everyone.

Tip #4: Put technology away.  Set a schedule to put all technology away prior to sleep.  Not only is the artificial light from devices a stimulant that keeps the body awake, any text messages or chats occurring after bedtime only delay sleep.

Sleep is essential to everyone but is even more important to growing minds and bodies.  Teaching your child the importance of good sleep now will help make a healthier adult.  Enjoy the rest of the summer!