By Elissa Bass
Ah, summer time.
Stay up late! It's light out and there's no better time to enjoy the summer than those cooler evenings. And when it gets dark, chase fireflies, star gaze, have a sleepover.
Why not? You can sleep in the next morning, right.
And then school starts, and everyone is off schedule and off kilter and CRANKY. We asked Patch readers on the Dublin Patch Facebook page— as well as those on the Facebook pages of other nearby Patch sites— how they transition their kids from all-bets-are-off summer sleep schedules to -go-to-bed-it's-a-school-night routines. Here's what they had to say:
- Kristy Tennyson Lijesen Start now and work your way back each night 15-30 mins for quiet time, showers, reading and bed time. It makes the transition easier because the kids aren't being thrown into some extreme time change. They may not even notice!:)
- Sandi Johnson Kellman Start now give them a structure so they are ready by next week
- Staci Wolcott Shanks I never changed from the school sleeping schedule! I feel it is important to keep up the routine. After all, my child is 4.
- Nancy Reeves-Haines Yes start winding them down now. Day by day put them to bed a little earlier. If you've been having later dinner times start there with dinner earlier as well. Good luck! My two boys are all grown up:) But even I need to practice what I've preached and get to bed earlier if I'm to do any subbing this year:)
- Donny Foscalina Cash.
- Victoria Lynn Yakubik-Gemberling have start back to bed early 3 weeks before school starts
- Michelle Munn Allum They are old enough to know what the consequences will be if they don't start weaning themselves from sleeping in. I have given them ample warning. They know school is in less than one week. If they are tired on the first day, it will be the last time they do that! Ha!
And here's a few pieces of advice from sleep and health experts:
- Gradually reintroduce earlier bedtimes: Work towards getting your pre-teen to bed by 8:30. That gives them 30 minutes to fall asleep and 10 hours to sleep by the time they have to get up at 7:00 a.m. If they need to get up earlier, they should go to bed earlier as well. For teens, aim for a 9:00 p.m. bedtime—which means no more late-night TV watching - Besthealthmag.ca
- Look Beyond Bedtime: “If we approach sleep appropriately," Family psychologist David Swanson, author of HELP-- My Kid is Driving Me Crazy, says, "we look at a kid’s whole day. If you want your kids back to sleep on time, have dinner at a set time and limit the computer, TV, and video game time,” he says. “You’re not just trying to get them back to bed, but into a routine.” - webMD.com
- Turn off electronics: To help your kids wind down, all electronics — TV, video games, computers, and cell phones — should be shut off an hour earlier. -everydayhealth.com
- Be a role model: Set a good example for your child. Establish your own regular sleep cycle and maintain a home that promotes healthy sleep. -sleepfoundation.org