Back-to-school means back to earlier bed times for many kids.
For parents, transitioning your kids out of their summer sleep routines into a more structured sleep routine, especially during the school year, can be tough. But experts say, it's important when it comes to your child's mental, emotional and physical well-being.
According to Dr. Marc Frost, Neurologist and sleep expert at DENT Institute, "kids, in general, just aren't getting enough sleep these days. Studies show kids need eight to nine hours of quality sleep to properly function."
The switch from going to bed late and getting up late, to earlier bed times and earlier wake-ups takes time, but the sooner you start experimenting with different schedules and approaches the better changes your kids have at sticking to them during the school year.
"Ideally, it's a pattern that should start a week before school," Dr. Frost says.
Focusing less on bed times and more on hours of sleep is a good approach.
Some other things to keep in mind as your kids are winding down: Dr. Frost suggests removing all electronics from the bed room and put a time limit on using them before bed time, try and make homework time earlier, rather than later and avoid heavy meals right before bed.
If you're looking for any suggestions or tips, Dr. Frost suggests turning to organizations like The Cleveland Clinic or Mayo Clinic for tips.