We’re well into the new school year—by now, your child should be on a regular sleep schedule. According to the National Sleep Foundation, transitioning to the school sleep schedule from summer break can take weeks. Remember, toddlers need 11 to 12 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period, preschoolers need 11 to 13 hours, and school-age kids need 9 to 11.
A good night’s sleep is linked to better performance in school. Studies show that healthy sleep habits help kids of all ages better focus, manage emotions, solve problems, and retain information, among a range of other important benefits.
Here are some tips to keep the sleep cycle smooth throughout the academic year:
- Avoid screen time an hour or more before bedtime. This includes TV, learning apps, and video games.
- Keep kids engaged in quiet activities, like reading, before bed.
- Encourage a dark environment for sleep time.
- Avoid caffeine and spicy foods six hours before bedtime.
- Keep kids on a healthy diet and make sure they get regular exercise. Both contribute to a better night’s sleep.
- Bath them earlier. According to NBC news, contrary to popular belief, a warm bath can actually stimulate your child because it involves toys and activities that pique their interest.
Still brushing the little one’s teeth, and wondering when you’ll be off the hook? Read the 7 Signs Your Kids Can Brush Their Own Teeth to find out if they’re responsible enough to take up the toothbrush without your help.