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Getting Back to School Sleep Schedules
Expert offers advice on how to help kids adjust to earlier bedtimes

By Robert Preidt

SATURDAY, Aug. 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- As the new school year begins, parents need to get their children and teens back on their normal sleep routines, an expert says.

Try to prevent your children from taking naps until they've adjusted to their earlier sleep and wake schedule. This will help them fall asleep more easily and sleep better through the night, Dr. Sanjeev Kothare, director of NYU Langone Medical Center's Pediatric Sleep Disorders Program, advised.

It's also a good idea to limit youngster's caffeine consumption in the afternoon, especially after 3 p.m., Kothare said. He noted that caffeine can stay in the body for eight to 10 hours.

Limit your children's use of electronic devices a few hours before bedtime. The blue light emitted by televisions, computer screens, smartphones and video games keeps brain activity high, which can make it difficult to fall asleep.

Unwinding before bed will help put youngsters in a relaxed mood. Get them to read a book, lie in bed, dim the lights and relax an hour before bed, Kothare suggested.

Try to keep children's weekend sleep schedules close to their weekday routines. Getting too far off track will make it more difficult for them to fall asleep on Sunday night, resulting in a disturbed sleep cycle.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more about preparing for a new school year.

SOURCE: NYU Langone Medical Center, news release, August 2014

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=690778

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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