How to get your child on a sleep schedule before school starts

Back to School
Posted at 3:32 PM, Aug 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-08 07:31:50-04

School will start up in days, and for many families, that wake-up call will be a rude awakening. 

It's not unusual for parents to allow more relaxed rules over summer, but doctors say it's important for kids to get back in a routine before school starts.

Dr. Emily Bendlin is a pediatrician with Methodist Physicians Clinic Hawthorne Court. She says it's important to ease children back into an earlier wake up time. When you don't have a lot of time to make the change, she recommends moving the time up by about a half hour every few days. 

Dr. Bendlin says school-aged children need about 9-12 hours of sleep a night

She also says electronics, like tablets and phones, hinder sleep. They emit a blue light that can promote wakefulness. Dr. Bendlin says children should not watch or play with electronic devices 1-2 hours before bed time. She says all kids, including teens, should keep them off too, "so what I often suggest is to remove the temptation altogether by removing the device and charging it in another room, that way they're not tempted to pick it up in the middle of the night."