AUSTIN (KXAN) — Back to school means back to a regular sleep schedule for most families and children.
Dell Children’s Sleep Program Medical Director Dr. Lisa Barber joined KXAN News to discuss ways to establish a good sleep routine with kids without the hassle.
“So much of having success at night starts with your day. So it starts with consistent wake time, exposure to sunlight, the outdoors, regular exercise, and then finishing up the day with a consistent bedtime routine,” Barber said.
She explained an hour before the desired bedtime, things should be slowing down at home. Screens and phones should be turned off and switched out for calmer activities like reading or a puzzle.
Barber said adults, adolescents and teens typically get sleepy during the day if they don’t get enough sleep, but it’s different for young kids.
“In early childhood, many children exhibit almost like an opposite response to where they can be hyper-charged and hyperactive, and sometimes parents say, ‘it’s like he’s running on a motor!'” Barber explained.
Barber said elementary and middle school kids should be getting about nine to 11 hours of sleep each night, whereas adolescents and teens should shoot for eight to 10 hours.
She explained if your child is still showing signs of poor sleep even after hitting those goals, then you should talk with a pediatrician.