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Summer is Almost Finished, Develop a Back to School Sleep Routine Now


The thought a kid has of school coming off of summer break isn't usually excited, especially when it comes into getting in the swing of things: homework, teachers and sleep routines.

"Sometimes I sleep in at 10 a.m.," Eryka Harrison said. "Now I have to wake up at 6 a.m., so it takes four hours off of my sleeping time."

However, Eryka knows it's time to get back into the school groove, and she's excited most for science experiments.

"Putting stuff in a bottle," Harrison said. "Putting a balloon on top, and if it would pop, that was my favorite experiment ."

With fun in the summer sun dwindling for kids, a school sleep routine is no experiment for her aunt Eileen Fox who babysits her when school is out.

"You can't just jump back into it, and say 'Schools tomorrow, you're going to bed,'" Fox said. "That would be too hard. That's why I usually start a week or two before."

Fox is doing the recommended routine.

The average kid loses 90 minutes of sleep on the first day of school if they don't start with a routine a couple weeks before school starts, thanks to the drastic sleep transition from summer to fall.

"Unfortunately when you go back to school, it makes it really difficult to reset your clock," Dr. Laurence Gordon, of Weston Aspirus Center, said.

If you'r child is having a hard time falling asleep, Dr. Gordon said there's a couple things that can help like turning off lights, turning off T.V.s and most of all, turning off cell phone notifications.

However for some parents, it's hard to put active kids to sleep with a traditional routine.

"We see more parents maybe having them try their Ambien ... those other sleep aid for adults," Gordon said.

Dr. Gordon does not recommend that for children.

"We'd rather not have kids that are 12 years old depending on sleep medications," Gordon said. "We'd rather them form good habits."

Trading in the summer soccer ball for books may not have Harrison entirely excited for school or even fighting sleep. To her, there's a simpler solution than a routine or sleeping aids.

"We should get more months of summer," Harrison said.


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