Tips for getting your child back on a school sleeping schedule

by Addison O'Shea
Stripes Okinawa
Has summer thrown a major wrench into your child’s sleeping schedule? You know, the one you worked so hard to maintain all school year? We feel you. That freshly-shaved-pencil smelling, back-to-school feeling is right around the corner and we’ve got some tips you can start implementing now to make sure that a sleep schedule is established by then!
 
1. Start sooner rather than later
The latest you should wait is one week before school starts, but you should start sooner if you can. Start waking up your tiny little humans a little earlier. If, they’re really hating the early mornings try to make waking up fun, by planning activities that will make them want to jump out of bed. Does such an activity truly exist? I don’t know, but it’s worth a try.
 
2. Take it slow
Has your child been sleeping in two hours past their normal school wake-up time? There’s no need to immediately jump from a two-hour lie-in to up and at ‘em at a school wake up time. Wake them up a little earlier in 30 min increments over a few weeks. And the same goes for bedtime, slowly start putting them to bed earlier and earlier.
 
3. Get active
Make sure that your little one is active throughout the day. Exercise will really help them sleep at night. Just make sure to exercise within three hours of bedtime, that extra energy will keep them up, and asking from down the hall, “Can I have a glass of waaaater?”. You know the drill.
 
4. Put electronics to bed too
An hour before bedtime wind down the electronic time. Those bright screens aren’t going to do you any favors in helping your child fall asleep. If they have a cellphone, keep it charging on the counter overnight so they’re not tempted to play on it after lights go out.
 
5. Make it comfortable
Routine is comfortable, so make it a routine. Same thing night after night. PJs, teeth and then maybe a quiet moment together like a story or sharing your favorite moment of the day. Make it physically comfortable. Turn down the lights, close the curtains, make sure the room is cool, quiet and calm.
 
Getting back on a school schedule is nobodies favorite thing to do, but it’s necessary. Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll experience a more peaceful transition and less of a yanking the covers of your child scenario. Best of luck!

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