NDT - Getting Kids Back on a School Sleep Schedule - August 16

Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 10:05 AM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Sanford Health Pediatric Sleep Specialist Dr. Arveitty Setty has advice to get kids back on a regular sleep schedule for the school year.

What can parents do to help their kids fall back into the school year sleep routine?

• Knowing how much sleep your child needs is dependent on how old they are. Younger children need an hour or two more of sleep than a high school student. Realizing that it might take time for your child to get back into the school routine, starting mid-August have them go to bed 10-15 minutes earlier every 4-5 days until they are on their school routine. Waking them up earlier is also helpful in this process.

How can parents help their child wind down for the night?

• Technology is something we are exposed to constantly so limiting screen time an hour or two before bed is key to helping your child fall into the school year routine. A simple but consistent bedtime routine is an easy way to help your child know when it is time for bed. An hour or two of physical activity before dinner can help your child wind down later. This can also include picking out clothes for the next day, taking a warm bath and reading before falling asleep every night. Having your child pick out clothes and choose what books to read will make them feel part of the routine that you both follow. The routine should be the same every night so your child associates all steps with sleep.

What kind of adjustments can be made to the bedroom?

• You can try lowering the temperature of the bedrooms in your home before climbing into bed as lower temperatures tell your body it’s time to sleep. If your children find their rooms too cold, try slightly warmer Pjs or blankets to keep them comfortable.

• Reduce noises and light that makes it difficult to sleep. White noise machines or a fan can be effective in soothing your kids to sleep by creating a consistent and rhythmic sound.

How important is exercise and a healthy diet to my child’s sleep quality?

• Exercise and a healthy diet can certainly play a big role in the quality of sleep your child gets. Limit caffeine, especially after lunch. Healthy eating has been proven to promote quality sleep. Avoid feeding your children fatty foods and processed carbs , as they foods will fill your child up, but don’t contain the vitamins and nutrients needed to produce energy. Food rich in antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and protein boost their daily energy levels without being followed with a crash like sugary or caffeinated foods and beverages. Exercise is also important. Make sure that your children get plenty of exercise during the day. This will help them wind down faster at night.

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