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Ease Kids Into School Sleep Schedules
Making the adjustment 'doesn't just happen overnight,' health expert says

By Robert Preidt

SUNDAY, Aug. 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Parents shouldn't wait until the last minute to help children get back into their normal sleep schedules for school, an expert says.

"Getting back on a normal sleep schedule doesn't just happen overnight," Peter Bidey, instructor of family medicine at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, said in a college news release.

"A gradual transition back to regular sleep habits is essential. A drastic change in sleep habits can be a shock to your child's system," he explained.

During summer vacation, children tend to stay up later and sleep in longer. Letting them continue that pattern until school starts can lead to trouble that first morning they have to wake up early for class, Bidey pointed out.

Getting children back into a sleep schedule for school "should start at least a week before school begins," Bidey said. "Parents can begin waking their children up earlier each day with an alarm clock, and sending their child to bed a bit earlier each night."

One way to make mornings before school less hectic is to be well-organized, he suggested.

"Parents can pack lunches and lay out school clothes the night before. That will help them stay calm in the mornings, which will in turn keep children calm," Bidey said.

Research shows that adequate sleep benefits children's mental health and school performance, he noted.

More information

The National Sleep Foundation has more about children and sleep.

SOURCE: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, news release, Aug. 12, 2014

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=690675

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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