One thing that should be on your school supply list but isn't: a good night's sleep.
We asked Associate Professor of Medicine at University at Buffalo, Dr. Jeffrey Mador about some tips to make sure your kids are well rested and ready for school.
- Kids need more sleep than adults. Kids aged 3-5 years old need about 10-13 hours of sleep, kids 6-13 years old need 9-11 hours of sleep and teens need 8-10 hours of sleep
- Shifting to an earlier bedtime should be a multi-day plan. Push it back 15-20 minutes a day. If your kids need to go to sleep two hours earlier, budget about eight days to make the change
- Keep a routine. On weekends, try not to neglect school night bedtimes
- When waking up, don't hit snooze. Kids should wake up naturally if they've slept enough, but if they don't, get them out of bed as soon as possible and have them go to bed earlier the following night
- Young students, in preschool to first grade, can take 20 minute naps if needed but it's best to train them to stay awake all day and not need the nap
- In the hour before bed, do something relaxing to wind down. Take a bath or shower or read a book
- Try to avoid electronics before bed and in the bedroom
- Make sure the bedroom is dark, quiet and free of distractions so your kids have the best chance at REM sleep