Getting kids on a sleep schedule for school

AUSTIN (KXAN) — School for most kids starts in less than one week and parents once again will have to put their kids back on a school sleep schedule that may be different from summer.

Inside the Fallon household in Leander, mom Maren is getting ready for the change with her two kids, Aidan, 7, and Emma, 5.

“The first day of summer our schedule went out the window,” said Maren Fallon, mom of two.

And forget about a regular bed time.

“And I’m like it’s 9 o’clock and they are still up,” said Fallon.

That’s a familiar story sleep specialist and author of Smarter Sleep, Dr. Mark Brown with Great Hills ENT hears from parents. His advice – start tonight getting your kids back on their school schedule.

“Start bringing your kids to bed earlier progressively until they are on a school schedule so that day one they are ready to learn and go to school,” said Dr. Brown.

That’s because kids in elementary school need at least 10 hours of sleep a night while those in high school need about eight.

“It is true that you are going to perform better and be more intellectually capable if you have a good night’s sleep because your brain needs that rest in order to function,” said Dr. Brown.

And that means making sure any type of screen from phone, to iPad and television are turned off when it’s time to go to bed.

“It has a very blue color to it and we think that blue light has the most wakeful light,” said Dr. Brown.

Dr. Brown said the best way to determine if your child is having trouble getting back on a sleep schedule verses possibly having sleep troubles could be stumbled upon by accident.

He said he often hears from parents after a summer vacation when they can’t sleep because their child is snoring all night long.

Dr. Brown said that can often be the result of enlarged tonsils or sleep apnea – both need to be treated by a doctor.

For Maren, she’s thinking of getting blackout shades for the kid’s rooms, hoping it might do the trick when summer vacation ends.

“It’s going to be interesting.”

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