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Getting the kids back on a school sleep routine

Posted at 6:36 AM, Aug 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-27 06:36:54-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Mom blogger Jenny Schoberl likes to give her two boys a little more freedom during the summer.

When it comes to the school year, she says her sons are pretty good on their own about getting back into a routine.

“One morning he woke up early and read the entirety of 'World of Worlds' in one sitting. Yeah, it's crazy," Jenny said.

For her sons Holden and Parker, reading plays a big part in bed time.

"For them I think reading just helps them fall asleep better, so they do that every night before bed," Jenny said.

"Dim lights, reading a book and white noise tell your brain, 'I should go to sleep,'" said Dr. Michael Strunc. "At that time, melatonin in your brain is spiking and telling your brain to go to sleep, so if you are not combatting that with a lot of light and noise on a device or a tablet you’ll fall asleep better,”

Start preparing for your child’s school-sleep-routine now

"Around 6:30 you should wake them up, even though school hasn't started yet," Strunc said. "When you wake them up you want bright light and some noise so when you wake them up your brain signals, 'Hey K-mart shoppers, it's time to wake up now.'"

When they wake up, avoid naps.

Strunc says eight hours is the ideal amount of sleep - but for each child it may be different. Some teens need more than eight hours.

“Holden doesn’t need as much sleep, where as Parker gets super cranky if he doesn’t get enough sleep," Jenny said. "He will come home from school and be so wiped he will be like this on the couch."

"One of the things we know pretty well is that when you are sleep deprived it acts just like if you were drinking and getting behind the wheel," Strunc said.

Strunc said once you are back in school, getting back on the sleep routine doesn't stop. Keep the same schedule - this means getting up early on the weekends for a few weeks.