Tips for a good back-to-school sleep schedule - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Tips for a good back-to-school sleep schedule

(Source: KFVS 12) (Source: KFVS 12)
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Parents, we feel your pain. Getting your kids on a back-to-school sleep schedule can by tough.

We talked to some parents about what works for them when it comes to a bedtime schedule.

The National Sleep Foundation has a lot of good ideas when it comes to getting kids on a school sleep pattern and one local mom is putting some of those ideas to work.

"If I let them watch TV right up until bedtime that normally isn't very good for us," Kylie Sexton, a mother of two boys, said.

One of her sons just started kindergarten and the other is about to start preschool.

She said free-time right before bed is one idea that doesn't work for her growing boys.

"If they just have a lot of free-time right before bedtime where they're running around it's hard for them to settle down for bed," Sexton said.

With her boys getting into the classroom routine. she said she has some tips that work for her family, which also matches some helpful ideas the national sleep foundation recommends.

"We are just making sure we're sticking to a routine so the boys know what to expect and when to expect it," she said.

She said having a restful bedroom environment is important.

"We don't let them watch TV, or do a lot of screen time in their room, they don't have a TV in their bedroom," Sexton said.    

When the television is off by 8:30 p.m., Sexton likes to end the night with a good read next to her sons.

"And just make sure that just whenever it's time to go to bed that we do something kind of quiet and calming like read a story," she said.

Mason is Sexton's youngest son. He said he's got some favorite books.

"Superman and Spiderman!" Mason said.

"We've been reading a lot of superhero books haven't we," Sexton said.

She said keeping a consistent routine helps her family stay rested throughout the week.

"If they want to wind down at the end of the day with some cartoons or whatever they need to start that around 8 p.m.," she said. "So we may also sit down and watch some cartoons at 8 p.m. But it all needs to be done by 8:30, so that we can get baths, brush our teeth, read a story and lights out by 9 p.m."

The National Sleep Foundation had some back to school sleep tips.

  • Two weeks before school starts work on a standard sleep routine. Each night go to bed a little earlier and wake up a little earlier too.
  • Keep with the same schedule even on the weekend, don't use the weekend for catch up.
  • Have a quiet time before bed where a child can relax like a bath and a bedtime story.
  • Limit TV and electronic distractions before bedtime.
  • Avoid large meals and caffeine right before bedtime.
  • Having a restful bedroom environment: keep the room dark, have a comfortable bed, keep the room a comfortable temperature. "Electronic distractions like television, computers, or video games should be removed from your child's room and set up in a different location," the National Sleep Foundation said.
  • Exemplifying a good sleep as a parent can also reflect being a good role model to your child.

According to this article on, this is how much sleep your child should be getting.

Age Total Sleep (Hours) Nighttime Sleep (Hours) Naps (Hourrs)
Newborn to 2 months 16-18  8-9 7-9 (3-5 naps)
2 to 4 months 14-16 9-10 4-5 (3 naps)
4 to 6 months 14-15 10 4-5 (2-3 naps)
6 to 9 months 14 10-11 3-4 (2 naps)
9 to 12 months 14  10-12 2-3 (2 naps)
12 to 18 months 13-14 11-12 2-3 (1-2 naps)
18 to 2 years old 13-14  11 2 (1 nap)
2 to 3 years old 12-14 10-11 1-2 (1 nap)
3 to 5 years old 11-13  10-13 0-1 (naps usually stop by age 5)
5 to 12 years old 10-11 10-11 n/a

According to WebMD, it has tips to make going to bed easy.

  • Set a regular time that everyone goes to bed and wakes up, follow it even on the weekends.
  • A consistent nighttime routine improves a child's sleeping habits, like reading a book at night.
  • A small snack before bedtime can help them fall asleep.
  • Everyone sleeps better in a cool room, not cold room.
  • Make sure the bedroom is dark and quiet, with a low noise level throughout the house.
  • Some kids fall asleep easier with a personal object like a blanket or teddy bear
  • "Lastly, Kids will always ask for that one last thing ,"said WebMD. "Hugs, a drink of water, a trip to the bathroom, just one more book. Do your best to head off these requests by making them part of the bedtime routine. And let your child know that once she is in bed, she has to stay in bed.If she gets up, don't react -- simply take her by the hand and walk her back to bed. If you argue or give in to requests, you’re giving her the extra attention -- and delayed bedtime -- she wants. And don't give into the "just this one-time" pitfall. If you read one more story or let her stay up longer "just this once," the bedtime routine you’ve built could come undone."

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