With the new school year quickly approaching for many families, now is the time to get back into that routine.
Just remember, if your child is anxious, whether they’re preschool-aged or a high school student, kids adjust better when they have a schedule or routine.
The challenge as a parent can be sticking to that earlier bedtime routine. But depending on the age of your child you want to make sure they are going to bed early enough so they can get the right amount of sleep they will need to make it through the school day.
For children between the ages of three and six, it is recommended they get between 10 to 12 hours of sleep a day. This means a child in this age range should be going to bed between 7 and 9 p.m. to wake up between 6 and 8 a.m. Also keep in mind that at age three, most children are still napping but at age five most are not.
For children between the ages of seven and 12, they should be getting between 10 to 11 hours of sleep a day. However, this can vary from between nine and 12 hours a day, with the average being nine hours.
When children reach these ages they are more involved in social, family and school activities, which can mean bedtime can be a moving target that gradually becomes later. Most 12-year-olds go to bed at around 9 p.m., while there is still a wide range of bed times for others in this group that range from 7:30 to 10 p.m. You’ll know what’s best for your child, if they’re tired throughout the day, try making bedtime a little earlier.
Youth between the ages of 12 and 18 require between eight to nine hours of sleep a day but social pressures can often work against a teen getting the sleep they need. But even if your teen tries to push for a latter bedtime, just remember that sleep is still vital to their health and well-being just the same as when they were younger. In fact, teens may need more sleep than they did in previous years, so as a parent it’s important to keep a close eye on your teen’s sleep patterns.
The best way to make sure your child heads back to school on the right foot is to make sure these sleep routines are in place before the semester starts. Making sure they get to bed early and start getting up early now will help them get the routine in place.
Find all of the stories that were in the fall West Shore Family publication online here.