8.28.2006


Back to School

One week left of summer holidays, and then it is back to school. (Mothers everywhere rejoice!) Back to school means back to making lunches, back to helping with homework, and back to a bedtime schedule.

As happens every summer, my kids (who are naturally little night owls) pushed their bedtime a little later and a little later with each passing week. I cannot say that I discouraged it. Truth is, I am a night owl as well, which means that I am not a morning person . . . so the late bed times suited me fine because that meant everybody would sleep in. And I have enjoyed every morning all summer - no alarm going off and the kids sleeping peacefully when I finally crawled out of bed.
Bliss.

But soon, there will be hell to pay.

Yes, next week, when I have to fight with the kids to get them to bed long before they have been accustomed, and then fight to get them up in the morning . . . pure hell. Oh sure, the first couple of days, it isn't bad. They're excited! New teachers, back with their friends, new clothes to wear . . . but it wears off fast. Then I am faced with trying to drag their grumpy butts out of bed. And speaking of grumpy . . . when the excitement begins to wear off and their abbreviated sleep time starts taking its toll . . . they are g.r.u.m.p.y.

In a release today on Medical News Today, they give some tips for healthy back-to-school sleep habits for children and teens and I think they are all really important. While we slack off the rules a bit in the summer, regular bedtimes during the school year are essential to a child's happiness and success at school.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends these basic daily sleep requirements:
Preschoolers: 11-13 hours
Elementary School Students: 10-12 hours
Pre-teens: 9-11 hours
Teens: 8.5-9 hours

And kids aren't any different than adults . . . they worry too. Upcoming assignments, exams, or friend troubles at school can keep kids from falling asleep. Our kids have all used the Glo to Sleep, on occasions when worrying was keeping them awake, so we were really pleased last month when Calgary's Child Magazine featured the Glo to Sleep in a "What's New" column, because the Glo to Sleep is such a great tool for kids too. Thanks to the mention, we've equipped quite a few kids with the key to a quick transition from awake to asleep. (Now, that's good back to school gear!)

Here's to hoping I survive next week!

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