Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Helping Adolescents Adjust to a Back-to-school Sleep Routine

For many teens and adolescents, summer break means a completely different sleep schedule. When I was growing up, my sister and I would use those last few weeks before school started again to stay up late and sleep in as long as we could. Then, with just a few days left, our parents would have us try to get on a normal schedule before school started. Needless to say, it was always difficult to stay awake that first week in class. Our bodies hadn't adjusted completely to our new routine. 

Sleepiness at school can have negative effects on a child's ability to perform and retain information. Below are a few tips to help your child get back to a more regular sleep schedule for school.
  • Several weeks before school begins, start to set limits for the latest bedtime and wake up time. Make sure to enforce these times and as school draws closer, gradually move these times earlier.
  • Help your children enjoy the last few weeks of summer by encouraging early morning activities rather than late night ones. Encourage them to play outside during the daytime. 
  • Be consistent. If your children expect the change to their routine, it will be an easier transition.
  • Be a good example in your own sleep habits. 
Helping our children get the proper amount of sleep will help them be more attentive and happier at school.

What routines do you have that help your children get back into the swing of school?
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