Advice for back-to-school and bedtime routines

Getting back to the school year bedtime routine
Updated: Aug. 22, 2018 at 11:41 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The first wave of students began the school year this week. Another round will start this coming Monday, August 27.

Getting back into the groove of waking up before daylight can be a struggle for some children, so we're on your side getting some expert advice on bedtime routines!

If the hardest adjustment when the school year starts is getting your kids to go to bed at night, my friends, you're preaching to the choir!

"'Awww, I don't want to go to bed,' I'll be moaning like a lion," says my 7-year-old son, William.

"I'm not sleepy at all right now and I have no idea what time it is but it's probably VERY late," says my 8-year-old daughter, Camryn.

The bedtime routine is key. Dr. Joseph Loibissio with Levine Children's Arboretum Pediatrics says if you haven't started a consistent routine yet, the time to do it is now.

"Yes, one of the biggest things that happen over the summer - the parents say, 'OK, you have freedom, stay up as late as you want.' And then all of a sudden they realize, 'oh no, we have a week left and it's time to get back to school,'" says Dr. Loibissio.

So when should your school-aged child be catching some z's? Dr. Loibissio says the number of hours of sleep they should get depends on their age.

"Younger children generally need more sleep, about 10-12 hours," says Dr. Lobissio. "As they get into middle and high school, it can vary depending on when they're going through their growth spurts. If they're going through a big growth spurt, definitely 10-12 hours. At a minimum 8-10 hours."

"One time for school I went to bed really, really early at 8 o'clock. And I felt so refreshed that morning I woke before daddy!" says Camryn.

That refreshed feeling will help your child stay focused as they're absorbing information at school. It's important to note the routine when they wake up for school is just as important.

"Always recommend a good fruit or vegetable with breakfast, get those fiber and proteins in there. Then some source of protein and a little bit of carbohydrates. You don't want to overdo it or else you'll crash and burn by mid-morning," says Dr. Loibissio.

So now that we've done the homework for you - it's time to put this assignment into action.

"We're going to be going to bed by 8 o'clock Sunday, right?," I asked Camryn and William.

Camryn answered, "Hopefully."

Dr. Loibissio says getting a good night's sleep also helps build a child's immune system. That can help ward off illnesses when those start popping up during the school year.

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