by Jim Caroompas
If you have school-age kids, you know the drill. Summer comes along, and out goes the bedtime routine. In many homes, the TV is on longer, the computers and iPads and smart phones are glowing long after dark, and kids normally asleep by 9 or 10 p.m. find themselves awake and thrilled as the clock ticks late into the night.
Then, along comes then the new school year. And with it, the ominous, torturous reality of early morning. Suddenly, an internal clock used to the loose-knit schedule of summer becomes subjected to the hard reality of rigor once again.
It's enough to make one downright cranky.
But there are ways to ease the late-slumbering student back into the early morning routine. We've asked our readers on the Lamorinda Facebook page to weigh in. Here is what they said:
- Jane Smith: They get used to it real fast once they have to get up at 6:30 a.m.
- Shay Kay: Start about a week ahead of school and shave off about 15-30 each night until you are at your desired bedtime. Wake them early of they sleep in too.
- Elizabeth Lampert: Tell them you'll take away their cell phone or iPad .... zzzzzz.
- Mary McConnell: why bother nagging. go cold turkey.
- Kathleen Edwards: We started about a week ahead of school. Wake them up at the new time each day. Start to cut down on electronics and TV since you will insert study/reading time soon.
- Aaron Prather: Chewable valium!
- 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