Back to school – back to the routine!
Where did summer go? While it isn’t quite over yet, 32 days until fall – but who’s counting, children are beginning to start school.
If you want to get your kids back into the school routine it is best to start implementing some guidelines that are centered around their evening activities and sleep.
Katie Brink, MA CCC-SLP, a speech-language pathologist at Firelands Regional Medical Center, had this to say about getting your children out of the summer nights routine, and into a school-night one.
“Kids thrive on routine and any change in routine requires a period of adjustment. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine a few weeks before school begins and stick with it. To help your child adjust to an earlier bedtime gradually, simply move bedtime up by 30 or 60 minutes at a time over the course of a few days or a week. Don’t use weekends to ‘catch up’ on sleep. Also, remember to limit electronic stimulation, caffeine consumption, and heavy meals before bedtime. The sooner your child readjusts to a school sleep schedule, the better he or she will feel and perform during those early morning classes!”
The National Sleep Foundation also has some helpful tips to keep in mind:
- About two weeks before school starts, work with your child to return to a school appropriate sleep schedule. Every night, set an incrementally earlier bedtime, and every morning, an incrementally earlier wake-up time. Make sure that when school starts, they'll wake up with the amount of sleep they need for their age-group.
- Maintain sleep schedule – Once your child's sleep schedule is established, stick with it! Don't use the weekend to "catch up on sleep."
- Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Before bedtime, start a "quiet time" to allow your child to unwind. The routine should include relaxing activities, such as a bath and a bed-time story (for young children) or a reading time (for older children).
- Limit television, video games, and other electronic distractions before bedtime.
- Avoid big meals close to bedtime - a heavy meal may prevent your child from falling asleep.
- Avoid caffeine – sodas and other caffeinated drinks should be limited afternoon, and especially at night. A good rule of thumb is to avoid any caffeine six hours before bedtime, as the caffeine can interrupt your child's natural sleep patterns, making it difficult to fall asleep.
- Maintain a peaceful bedroom environment – dark room, comfortable bed, and a room temperature that is neither too hot nor too cold. Electronic distractions like television, computers, or video games should be removed from your child's room and set up in a different location.
- 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.
Did you know?
Did you know that Firelands Regional Medical Center offers pediatric therapy that is designed to be a fun learning experience to help children improve function and confidence in their skills? At Firelands Regional Medical Center’s Children's S.P.O.T., each therapist integrates highly specialized training into therapeutic activities and works directly with parents to promote the child’s success in therapy. Their goal is to look at children as a whole person and focus on their strengths to build their undeveloped skills.
Our pediatric rehabilitation services and programs focus on treating children who may have one of the following conditions:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Brain injury or brain tumor
- Cerebral palsy
- Craniofacial anomalies
- Down syndrome
- Feeding and swallowing disorders
- Genetic abnormalities
- Orthopedic conditions
- Speech and language disorders
- Spina bifida
- Voice disorders
- Other developmental disabilities