Getting kids on a healthy sleep schedule as the school year begins

It’s hard to believe the first day of school is right around the corner, and experts say lot of kids are going to have a hard time waking up, especially if they didn’t have a regular sleep schedule over the summer, but there are ways to ease that transition.

COOPER CITY, Fla. – It’s hard to believe the first day of school is right around the corner, and experts say lot of kids are going to have a hard time waking up, especially if they didn’t have a regular sleep schedule over the summer, but there are ways to ease that transition.

It was a fun summer at sleep away camp for ten year old Betty Karp.

“Every Saturday we had about two three hours of free time where you could do whatever you want but they told you where you could go and you couldn’t go,” she said.

The break from the school year can also mean a break from some rules and routines, including bedtime

“We do try and pay attention to good sleep habits as best we can obviously life is life and there are times when we’re a little bit off schedule,” said Jeanine Karp, Betty’s mom.

Dr. Juan Martinez, Chief of the Pediatric Pulmonary and Sleep Program with Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital said getting kids back on a solid sleep schedule is vital for their emotional well-being and development.

“Sleep is very restorative in the sense that your memory gets laid down when you have good sleep but when you don’t it doesn’t get laid down properly so you’re going to forget a lot of what you learned during the first week of school,” Martinez said.

He said parents should eliminate any devices at least an hour prior to bedtime and rather than trying to get your kids to bed earlier, Martinez suggests moving up their wake up time.

“Set an anchor time. If your anchor time is six am and your children are basically waking up at 11 am you have to start cutting back on that wakening time  and i suggest about 15 minutes every three days to gradually get them to the time you want them to wake up at before school,” Martinez said.

Betty Karp knows the difference a good night’s sleep can make for her.

“I feel like I want to do more things when I don’t get a good night’s sleep I just want to relax the whole day,” she said.

“Just getting back into the mode of learning and studying is one process so having a good night’s sleep is really important to expedite that,” her mom added.

If your child’s sleep schedule doesn’t seem to be improving with time, Martinez suggests contacting your pediatrician for further guidance.


About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.