Quality sleep is an important part of success for kids. As every parent and teacher will tell you, when children have a sleep deficit their ability to concentrate, problem-solve and have a generally positive attitude is compromised. This is especially true of teenagers, who need between 8 ½ and 9 ¼ hours of sleep each night for their brains and bodies to function optimally.

To improve the quality of your child’s sleep, do the following:

1) Make your child’s bedroom an “electronic-free” zone.

Children are not known for their impulse control. Set your child up for success by turning their bedroom into a “screen-free” sanctuary. The bedroom is no place for tempting electronics that actively stimulate the brain. Set up the bedroom to fully support its primary functions: personal space and sleep.

2) Unplug 30-60 minutes before bedtime.

Technology such as television, video games, computers, the internet, smart phones, iPads, etc. – any form of screen time – has a deleterious effect on children who are about to go to sleep. “One of the most simple but important reasons technology affects our sleep is cognitive stimulation,” says Mark Rosekind, PhD, former director of the Fatigue Countermeasures Program at the NASA Ames Research Center. Make bedtime easier on yourself and your kids: prepare your child’s mind for sleep by unplugging from technology ahead of time!

3) Create a sleep routine.

Nothing helps the body adjust to a healthy sleeping pattern like consistency. When your child does the same things every night before falling asleep, their bodies learn specific signals that cue them, it’s time to go to bed. When children’s internal clocks are consistent and they have a routine preparing them for bedtime, kids fall asleep faster.  Sleep routines can include taking a bath or shower, reading, and other calming activities.

*Back to School tip: A week before school begins, roll back bedtime to the school year standard & wake your child up earlier. This way their internal clock will already be adjusted to the new rhythm when school starts!

To learn more tips on navigating the back to school transition, read Back to School Success for Parents & Kids.

What’s your child’s bedtime routine?

Share below!

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