Back to school

Five Tips to Kick Start a Back-to-School Sleep Routine

With school around the corner, right now it is the best time to get kids in a back-to-school sleep routine. It is important to make sleep a priority, restful nights make every everything better in the morning.

1. Reintroduce earlier bedtime

Sleep is crucial for concentration and academic performance. On Average a child needs 10 – 12 hours of sleep. Your child is getting enough sleep if they are able to get up by themselves at the time they’re suppose to. However if you have to wake them up or it takes a long time for them to get going in the morning, then they are not getting enough sleep and need to go to bed earlier.
Two weeks before schools starts, transition your child back to waking up early, by going to bed 15 minutes early every night and waking up early until the new routine is established.

2. Limit Screen time

Limit screen time or shut them off altogether at least 1-2 hours before bed. The glowing blue light from cellphones and tablet screens disrupt sleep cycles, by blocking melatonin production and tricking our brains into thinking it is daytime.

3. Avoid foods that contain caffeine

Caffeine is not just present in coffee. Tea, colas and chocolate also contain caffeine. Avoid caffeinated products 4-6 hours before bedtime. Caffeine also interferes with potty-training and bed wetting habits, since it is a diuretic and promotes urine production.

4. Limit sugar intake

Avoid sugar 2 hours before bedtime. Sugar contains so much energy, it will keep your child wide awake and overly active. Instead of a sugary bedtime snack opt for a fruit.

5. Pediatric Acupuncture

Acupuncture, stimulates the parasympathetic system, which is the “rest and digest” part of our nervous system. The easier your child falls into this relaxed state the faster they will fall asleep sleep once they hit the pillow. Ideally your child should fall asleep within 20 – 30 minutes of laying down in bed

Vajeh Dasht-Laali BSc. RAc.

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