Bedtime is probably the biggest transition your family needs to make to get back in the routine of the school season. But it may take several weeks to reset your students’ internal clock to the school schedule. Gradual transitioning allows your child to get adequate sleep at the beginning of the school year and will reduce some bedtime battles.
Most elementary school students need 10 to 11 hours of sleep, while most teenagers need 8 to 9 hours of sleep nightly. Inadequate sleep leads to irritability, impaired focus, and can heighten symptoms of ADD/ADHD, if that is a concern for your family.
Begin the transition by setting up a 30-minute routine of pre-bedtime activities. Use a checklist to help your child take ownership of her routine. A good pre-bedtime routine helps the child slow down and prepare for sleep. Plus it helps set the stage for a smooth start in the morning. Here are some ideas for pre-bedtime activities:
- Review the next day’s agenda
- Pack the backpack and set it out
- Set out clothes for the next day
- A quiet activity that does not include the computer, video games or TV.
Transition gradually. Start the pre-bedtime routine ten to fifteen minutes earlier every few nights. It may take two weeks to adjust to going to bed an hour earlier. But consistency is important in establishing the routine so try to follow the schedule on weekends as well.
Following a transition plan will help ready your child for a new school year with as little stress as possible - for the whole family.
Clear Spaces owner Denise Lee merges seven years of social service experience and seventeen years experience in Information Technology to bring you effective and personal organizing solutions for the home, the small business and the student. The Clear Spaces approach is holistic -- empowering you to live the life you want to live.