bedtimeIt’s easy in the summer to let bedtime slide a little later. School starts in the next few weeks, however, and your child will have less difficulty with the transition ( i.e. will be less crabby and better able to focus at school) if you begin scaling back bedtime now.

Adequate sleep is an important factor in your child’s success in school.

“We actually have research that shows a mere 41 minutes of sleep depriva¬tion begins to affect kids’ mathematical skills and reading skills. We know that children who get the recommended amount of sleep have higher grades. They have better mathematical skills and higher reading scores. They have better focus and attention. There are fewer fights. There are fewer accidents. They don’t get sick. They even have fewer cavities and gum disease, and they’re less susceptible to Type II diabetes and obesity,” said Mary Sheedy Kurcinka in the forthcoming book 20 Great Ways to Raise Great Kids.

It takes two-three weeks for the body to adjust to a new sleep/wake schedule so start scaling back bedtime by 15-30 minute increments this week and then again next week. Also start waking your child up a little earlier each week so that by the time schools starts, you’re mimicking the school schedule.

Check the sleep recommendations below to make sure that your child is getting adequate sleep. (Contact me at if you have bedtime hassles with your kids that feel too tough to tackle on your own. I’ve helped 100s of parents get their kids to bed on time and get optimal sleep.)

Here are sleep guidelines recommended by

• Ages 3-6 need 10 ¾-12 hours of sleep
• Ages 7-12 need 9 ¼-10 ½ hours of sleep
• Ages 12-18 need 8 ¼ – 9 ½ hours of sleep

Feel free to leave any tips you have for reducing bedtime hassles here in the comment box.

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