Time to start getting kids back into school sleep routine

POSTED: Monday, August 6, 2012 - 4:05pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 - 7:08pm

WACO -- Getting the kids back into a routine for school can be a struggle after the long, lazy summer months. But pediatricians say the best time to prepare is right now.

"Three weeks before going back to school you kind of set their nighttime, bedtime 30 minutes or an hour earlier so you're gradually getting them back to sleep," Dr. Vicki Popejoy, a pediatrician with Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center said.

A new study by the American Academy of Pediatrics says a calming routine is the best for getting your kids to sleep.

"If you do the same routine every night, and that calming routine will help them fall asleep faster and hopefully sleep a little better."

But what that routine consists of could determine the quality of sleep.

"Anything from a scary book, scary movie, games that are real exciting, can get your mind kind of revved up and so it's hard to settle down and wind down at night."

Best results for sleep occurred when parents exchanged scary movies for more kid appropriate TV shows. Other good habits would be to take a bath or read a book in bed.

Doctors say the value of sleep in terms of memory, growth and overall health continue to increase.

So it's important for your child to get 8 to 9 hours of sleep every night.

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