Pediatricians’ Recommendations for Adjusting Back to School Sleep Schedule


The start of a brand new school year is quickly approaching, and that means scheduled bedtimes are back.

Experts suggest practicing two weeks before school starts to get kids’ circadian rhythms back on track, but some are out of time. Pediatrician Ghazala Abuazza says the secret is going slow so the new bedtime is hardly noticeable. She says adjust the schedule in increments of 15 minutes. So if a child goes to bed at 9:45 p.m. tonight, put them to bed at 9:30 tomorrow night. Then, use a similar routine in the morning, by waking up 15 minutes earlier each day. Parents who are pressed for time, can adjust the times by up to thirty minutes, but more than that is not recommended.

The American Academy of Pediatrics say elementary and middle school students need ten to twelve hours of sleep per night. It recommends eight to ten hours for high school students.

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