It’s tax-free weekend in Tennessee once again. The long and carefree days of summer break are counting down quickly towards the beginning of another school year. As school starts, it is crucial to re-establish bedtime routines to ensure that children get enough sleep each and every night. Sleep deprivation among children is quite common and you may be surprised to learn that sleep-deprived children perform at a significantly lower grade level — up to 2 grade levels lower! While every child may have somewhat different specific needs, here are the recommendations of the The National Sleep Foundation:
Here are some suggestions on how to get back into a healthy bedtime routine for the upcoming school year:
1. Decide when you need to get up. It will be easier to decide what time your children need to go to bed if you know what time they have to get up in the morning. Experts agree that school-aged children need between 9-11 hours of sleep each night to be at their best.
2. As fall begins, many of us will have to readjust our nighttime routines and bedtime schedules. Sleep is the time that our bodies heal themselves. Enough sleep will help our children have the energy they need for school. Sleep will help them focus and be in a better mood all day long.
3. Prepare as much as possible the night before. Pack lunches and snacks, pick out clothing for the next day, take a bath, organize backpacks and school papers.
4. Start your bedtime routine a little early so that you can have quality one on one time with your little one. Read them a bedtime story, talk about the next day and any activities that are planned: doctor’s appointments, errands, grocery shopping, and any afterschool activities. The more you can do to prepare them for the next day, the smoother the day will go.