SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — There are just a few weeks left of summer vacation before kids head back to school.
That means now is a good time to make sure your kids are getting back into that school year sleep schedule.
The school year is creeping up for kids in KELOLAND, and that means sleeping in followed by time at the park is limited.
Laura Parish is a school nurse at Lincoln High School who says right now is a good time to start working on a back-to-school bedtime schedule, no matter your child’s age.
“Kids are being kids and they’re having fun and having a summer. So starting that transition early and not just putting it on them a week before school is key,” Parish said.
In addition to incorporating an earlier bedtime, Avera Health Family Life Educator Patricia Bates says parents should also start waking kids up earlier.
“Just moving back that bedtime 10 to 15 minutes and then you know stick to that for three or four days and then if you need to move it back another 10 to 15 minutes you know, and then stick to that for like a week so that way you’re moving it back slowly,” Bates said.
If your child is struggling to fall asleep, she says black out shades and a nutritious meal can make bedtime a little easier.
Experts say children who aren’t getting enough sleep before school tend to have lower grades and act out more often than others.
“We have kids that come to school, they are falling asleep in the classroom, their heads down. Sometimes some increased behaviors, and they’ll flat out say, ‘Well, I was up all night,'” Parish said.
Whether it’s playing video games or scrolling through social media, Bates recommends a cut-off time for all electronic devices to make falling asleep easier.
“No screens like an hour before bed. That blue light really gets your brain alert, stimulated. Making sure there’s not a lot of bright lights, no bright light, blue light, in the room at night,” Bates said.
She says implementing routines such as brushing teeth and then reading a book every night can help your teen create that habit of getting to bed on time.
“It’s important to get them on a sleep schedule, to ensure that they’re getting enough sleep to be productive in the classroom. Not only productive in the classroom but behaviors,” Parish said.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends kids ages 6 to 12 regularly sleep 9 to 12 hours, and teenagers ages 13 to 18 years should sleep 8 to 10 hours per night.
To see when your child’s first day of school is or what supplies they need, click here.