Help Kids Hit 'Reset' on Sleep as They Head Back to School

SUNDAY, Aug. 13, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Keeping to a consistent bedtime routine is the key to helping your kids get restful and refreshing sleep.

Fortunately, about 81% of parents with kids under 18 surveyed by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) say that’s happening in their house.

The AASM offers some sleep tips to start the school year off right.

“Setting a consistent bedtime routine is very important, especially for children, who need more sleep for overall health and wellness,” said AASM spokeswoman Dr. Shalini Paruthi, a sleep medicine physician. “Making an intentional shift from summertime habits to more regimented school-year habits can be difficult, which is why the AASM recommends starting the transition a couple weeks in advance.”

A regular bedtime routine also helps regulate students’ physical and mental health.

“Students are under a lot of pressure to juggle their academic and personal interests," Paruthi said in an academy news release. "Making sleep a priority is imperative to supporting their academic and individual growth and success.”

Parents can determine how much sleep their child needs based on their age. Those aged 3 to 5 need 10 to 13 hours of shut eye every 24 hours, including nap time.

Kids aged 6 to 12 years need nine to 12 hours of sleep overnight.

Teens need eight to 10 hours of sleep each night.

To transition to fall routines, gradually shift bedtime 15 minutes earlier each night and wake time 15 minutes earlier each morning, the experts advise.

Restrict screen time before bed. Turn off electronics at least 30 to 60 minutes before lights out.

Develop a 15-minute relaxing nightly routine, which may include reading, journaling or taking a warm bath or shower.

Create a quiet, cool sleep environment.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has some additional back-to-school tips.

SOURCE: American Academy of Sleep Medicine, news release, Aug. 7, 2023

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