Medical Monday Back to School Sleep

Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 12:22 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -As the 2022-2023 school year approaches it can be a struggle getting back into an earlier bed time and wake up time for students. Teresa Green, Sleep Medicine Specialist at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital says it’s best to start getting back into the routine a week or two before school starts depending on how much they are off their schedule. She has a tip on how to adjust the wake up and bedtime routine.

Green says, “Usually I recommend, um trying to adjust a child’s schedule by about 15 mins every day. So if you, if you your child has been going to bed around 9 o’clock over the summer and you want them to be getting to bed at 8 when school rolls around, than that process would take about 4 days.”

Green suggest once you get your child on a set sleep schedule it’s best to keep the schedule consistent even on the weekends, to avoid issues Sunday night. Green discusses why it’s important to start waking your child up earlier as well as putting them to bed earlier.

“So, the wake up time is the anchor for our eternal clock. So when you move the wake up time earlier in small increments than the body the internal clock kind of starts to move a little bit earlier. Um and than the children will start getting sleepy a little bit earlier which than makes putting them to bed earlier easier; they won’t resist because they are starting to feel tired.” says Green.

Green suggests students of pre school age get 10-13 hours of sleep, 5-12 year old’s get 9-12 hours of sleep and teens 8-10 hours. On next weeks Medical Monday we will talk about different strategies to help students fall asleep easier and when to reach out to your physician.

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