Back to School sleep preparations

Posted at 10:55 AM, Aug 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-04 10:55:49-04

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA -- The first day of school is days away in lee and collier counties. And we're in your corner with useful information all week to get you ready for the school year.  Here are tips to make sure your kids have had enough sleep when the school bell rings.

Most health care experts say your child needs about a week to adjust their sleep schedule for the school year.  The American Academy of Pediatrics says most adolescents should get between 8 1/2 and 9 1/2 hours of sleep before school.

For children in early elementary grades, it's 10 to 11 hours.

So after summer break, how do you get your children on that kind of schedule? 

Some sleep experts recommend avoiding the temptation of putting them to bed earlier at night, when they're not sleepy.  Instead, while there's still some summer break left, wake them up a half hour to an hour earlier.  That will make them more tired at night, and then you can adjust their bedtime.

Another tip: cut the caffeine at dinner, and the screen time too.

Keep TV's, computers, and tablets out of your child's bedroom and make them off limits totally -- at least an hour before bed time -- to let their brains unwind.

Lack of sleep is associated with lower grades for middle and high school aged students.