Help Kids Sleep Soundly When Schedules Are In Flux

With the end of the school year approaching, students and parents alike look forward to the less structured routine of the summer months.  Bedtime slides later into the night as daytime is extended and the need to be up and around early for school disappears.  Unfortunately the constant change in routines in the summer can play havoc on good sleep habits and your child’s health.

Improper sleep in children and teenagers has been shown to increase behavioral problems, increase risk of obesity and decrease the ability to learn.  For busy parents, single parent households, and children with hectic summer schedules, it is easy to give up on bedtime routines.  This lack of structure in the summer can have immediate impact on children during the summer and also follow them into the fall when school starts back into session.

Keeping a consistent routine is one of the most difficult sleep habits to maintain, but may be one of the most important.  If you allow your child’s bedtime and wake time to vary during the summer, try to keep it within one hour of what they would normally do during the school year.  This will minimize the impact on your child’s normal circadian rhythm.  

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Author of the article: 
Dr. Robert Oexman