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Painlessly Get Your Kids Back to a School Sleep Schedule After a Summer of Sleeping In

Ah, summer ... not a care in the world about having to get up and go ... late night fun and nowhere to rush to get to early in the morning. But then there's the night before back to school, already filled with excitement ... or anxiety ... how will they ever fall asleep?

If they've been staying up later than usual and sleeping in all summer long, you may want to start winding back their bedtime to a more reasonable hour. This can help prevent sleepiness and ... well, who are we kidding ... crankiness on their first week back to school.

About a week before they go back, starting winding back their wake time and bedtime. For example, if they were allowed to stay up an hour later over summer and are now sleeping in later too, on day one wake them up fifteen minutes earlier than they've been waking. Winding back their bedtime by the same amount that evening should be a little easier because they woke up earlier.

Keeping winding back both wake time and bedtime by fifteen minutes each day until they're back to the desired schedule. Keep them on this back to school schedule for a few days before school.

If you don't have an entire week before school to do this, you may need to wind back the schedule more quickly, say, by half an hour each day.

A few other tips include ...

  • get them outside and expose them to sunlight earlier in the day to reset their natural wake/sleep rhythm

  • physical activity can be a great way to help them relax and to, well, tire them out

  • re-implement a bedtime routine, including shower/bath, quiet time, snuggles, reading etc.

The night before back to school, they should have a much easier time falling asleep and in the morning will feel more ready for the big day!

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