PITTSBURGH (CBS) — The start of the new school year is here. Among other things, that means getting kids back on their usual schedule, including their sleep routine.
But there are ways to make the transition back to school a smooth one.
The Ellant family has had a busy summer, so their children have been staying up way past their bedtime. But with the start of school just around the corner, pediatricians say it’s time to get back on track.
“We know that good sleep hygiene is related to good school work and you are more productive during the day and you can focus better,” said Dr. Dyan Hes, of Gramercy Pediatrics.
Children ages 3 to 5 need a total of 11 to 13 hours of sleep, 5- to 10-year-olds need about 10 to 11 hours, and teenagers need at least 8 and a half hours.
Dr. Hes says parents should ease children back into their school day routine now. Get them to bed sooner and wake them earlier.
“One night you go to bed a half an hour earlier, and then 45 minutes earlier,” Dr. Hes said.
Avoid caffeine, sugary drinks and big meals before bed. Also, no electronics like television and video games, because they can stimulate young kids.
“Definitely an hour before bedtime we limit electronics,” says mom Devi Enerio-Ellant.
Enerio-Ellant says consistency is really important.
“We just try to gradually ease them back into their proper bedtime,” she said.
Doctors say once you get children back on schedule, it’s key to stick to the routine, even on the weekends.