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Establishing a healthy school-time bedtime routine

tired boy asleep over his books

As another school year begins, it is crucial to re-establish bedtime routines to ensure that children get enough sleep each and every night.

Sleep is absolutely essential for children's wellbeing. Enough sleep will help them have the energy they need for school. Sleep will help them focus and be in a better mood all day long.

Sadly, sleep deprivation among children is quite common today. You may be surprised to learn that sleep-deprived children perform at a significantly lower grade level — up to 2 grade levels lower!

While every child may have somewhat different specific needs, here are the recommendations of the The National Sleep Foundation:


Here are some suggestions on how to get back into a healthy bedtime routine for the upcoming school year:

  1. Decide when you need to get up.  It will be easier to decide what time your children need to go to bed if you know what time they have to get up in the morning.  Experts agree that school-aged children need between 9-11 hours of sleep each night to be at their best.
  2. Prepare as much as possible the night before.  Pack lunches and snacks, pick out clothing for the next day, take a bath, organize backpacks and school papers.
  3. Start your bedtime routine a little early so that you can have quality one on one time with your little one.  Read them a bedtime story, talk about the next day and any activities that are planned: doctor’s appointments, errands, grocery shopping, and any afterschool activities.  The more you can do to prepare them for the next day, the smoother the day will go.