Back to School: Back to a normal sleep schedule - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Back to School: Back to a normal sleep schedule

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(KFVS) -

Your child may have stayed up late this summer, and then slept in to catch up, but now with school starting it's time to get back on track, and back on a sleep schedule.

"The schedule's pretty relaxed in the summertime," said mother Cynthia Thompson. "We let them sleep in, just enjoy the summer."

Starting August 1, Thompson gets her two kids back in a routine. They wake up at 6 a.m., eat breakfast, and get dressed.

"By the first day of school which is August 15, typically they are ready to go," Thompson said.

"Well it's not easy that's for sure," said mother Michelle Kilburn.

Kilburn started moving her three kids bed times up about a week ago.

"Try to ease them in try to get on some sort of schedule," Kilburn said.

"Kids thrive on structure and schedules so the more you've got that, it just makes everything go smoothly," Thompson said.

"A schedule seems to do wonders," Kilburn said.

Family physician Dr. Sandra Zakroff with Saint Francis Medical Center said elementary school kids need about 10 to 11 hours of sleep a night.

To get in the new routine, Zakroff said parents should pick what time the kids need to wake up to get ready for school and start working towards that bed time by going to be a little bit earlier each night.

An hour before bed, Zakroff said kids need to cut off stimulations.

"No screen time, no TV, no video games, computer," said Zakroff.

She said avoid exercise, caffeine, or a big meal before bed.

A former Heartland teacher said she's seen students fall asleep during the first week of school if they're not prepared with a new sleep schedule.

"I think it is very important for them to be well rested because it does help them out through school, it helps them to be more alert and more aware and it helps them to be able to remember," said Thompson.

"They're well rested which decreases behavioral problems at school and also increases their ability to learn," said Zakroff.

"They fight less, they're more likely to get up and get going in the morning," said Kilburn.

Experts also suggest keeping the weekday sleep schedule as best you can on weekends and holidays.

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