How to adjust your child's sleep schedule before heading back to school

You've spent the summer sleeping late and playing around, but now it’s time to get serious because the first day of school is just days away.

When that alarm clock goes off at 6:00 a.m. or earlier on the first day of school, if you’re not ready for it, it’s going to be painful.

So how do you get prepared?

Anchor Deiah Riley went to an expert for advice. Dr. John Morrison, a physician at Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel said, “creating good sleep habits starts with parents.” 

"Get the family together and say look, we’re all going to go to sleep. You’re not going to be the only one sleeping. We’re all going to go to sleep at this time,” Morrison said.

Both the amount of sleep and quality of sleep are important. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children six to 12 years old need nine to 12 hours of sleep for optimum performance. For teens 13 to 18, eight to 10 hours is needed to perform at their best.

Dr. Morrison also advised limiting screen time before bedtime because “bright screens and bright lights can inhibit sleep which is so important. About an hour, maybe two hours before bedtime, you’ll want to turn off the television, stop the video game playing and get your child ready for bed."

Limiting sugar and caffeine intake is also recommended. Be patient, it won’t happen overnight.

Dr. Morrison says give yourself time, “getting into a good sleep, even on the weekends, if you can do it, takes about 3 weeks for a child to be able to go to bed at a proper time and get that quality sleep.”

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Deiah reached out to several Tampa Bay area principals. They offered great advice to students even before they set foot on campus:

“ I just wish that every student knew that we are all here to help them succeed. We have teachers, counselors, administrators and an entire staff who want what is best for them. My advice would be to please reach out to someone if you have any problems, al all. We can make things better for you.”

Principal Gary Brady
Hillsborough High School

“I would like each student to come to school every day ready to love learning how to be better at living! Each employee at Burnett Middle School is ready to “love with you!”

Principal Dante Jones
Burnett Middle School

“Open your mind, be innovative, and always aspire to do your best each and every day you go to school. When you work hard you get GREAT results."

Principal Diane M. Sanches, M.Ed
Crestwood Elementary School

“Never allow someone to tell you, “ YOU CAN’T”, when you know “YOU CAN!”

Principal Jason Petry
Sanders Memorial Elementary School

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