STLMoms: Establishing healthy routines before the school year begins

STL Moms
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(STLMoms) – We are just a few weeks away from school starting back up for many students and now is the time to start resetting your child’s bedtime.

Pediatrician Dr. Peter Putnam with Esse Health talks about how to start a healthy routine before the school year begins.

Establish a healthy pattern

• Set a reasonable bed time AND wake time for your child to get enough sleep during the school year
School age children and preteens 10-12 hours/night. Teens 8.5-9.5 hours/night
• Move the current bedtime back to the target bedtime by 15 minutes every few nights to get ready for school.  The same should happen for wake time.
•   Myth:  People can “catch up” on sleep by sleeping in later on weekends

Establish a consistent bedtime pattern

•   Make sure your child has at least 30 min of quiet, non-electronic activity before bed so that they can “wind down.”
•   Reading, listening to music, writing in a journal

No electronics in the bedroom

•   Kids don’t need phones, tablets, video games or TVs to fall asleep or while they are asleep.
•   Parents should “lead by example” and remove electronics from their bedrooms as well.
•   Blue light wavelengths and artificial light disrupt circadian rhythms

No caffeine in the evening

•   Caffeine interferes with falling asleep, in addition to other health effects that are more pronounced for younger children.

For more information about Dr. Putnam visit: essehealth.com

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