It takes about two weeks to get children and adolescents back on a regular sleep schedule following a vacation. Use these tips from sleep expert Lisa Meltzer, PhD, to help get your family ready to go back to school and work.
Create a consistent sleep schedule.
Establish a consistent sleep schedule with a regular bedtime and wake time. Each night move bedtime earlier by 15 minutes, and each morning move wake time up 15 minutes until children are getting the minimum of 9-10 hours and adolescents a minimum of 8-9 hours to be successful in school.
Make sleep a priority.
Have everyone in the house follow healthy sleep habits including consistent sleep schedules, a relaxing bedtime routine and no technology in the bedroom. When parents make sleep a priority, children will also understand the importance of sleep for health and academic success.
Have a relaxing bedtime routine.
At least 30 minutes before bedtime, turn off all electronics and allow your child time to wind down. A consistent bedtime routine should include relaxing activities, such as a bath and reading time.
Create a proper sleeping environment.
Keep bedrooms cool, dark, and comfortable.
Keep technology out of the bedroom.
Remove computers, televisions, video games, tablets and cell phones from your child's room. Create a central charging station where everyone in the family “tucks their technology in” at a certain time (e.g., 8:00 p.m.) each night.
Don’t vary sleep schedules on the weekends.
Bedtimes and wake times should not vary by more than an hour on the weekends. Don't use the weekend to catch-up on sleep. Once a schedule is established, stick with it.
This information has been approved by Lisa Meltzer, PhD (July 2018).