Ease into a modified summer schedule now.
Two to four weeks before the first day of school, begin shifting the time your child wakes up in the morning and gets in bed at night. Start with the current time the child is waking up and gradually move to about 30 minutes earlier every other day.
Eliminate nap time.
In order to get your younger child back into a routine for school, remove naps from his summer schedule. It will help your child be more tired at night, encouraging an earlier bedtime.
Play during the day.
Schedule your child’s physical activity, outdoor play and exposure to bright light for the mornings. Reserve winding-down time for the evening with indoor play, dim light and quiet activities as bedtime nears. Avoid physical activity two to three hours before bedtime.
Take time to power off.
Designate the hour before bed as a no-electronics hour. Light from televisions, computers and back-lit electronics such as tablets, smart phones and video games can cause sleep disturbances, making it difficult to stay and fall asleep. Make sure all electronics are out of your child’s bedroom at least one hour before bed.
Create a comfortable environment.
Make sure your child’s bedroom is fit for sleeping. The ideal bedroom is cool, dark, quiet and comfortable.
Stick to the routine.
Once you achieve your goal for the best bedtime and wake-up time for transitioning to school, keep your kids on that schedule. A sleep routine makes it easier to fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning.
To ensure a good night’s rest, kids should avoid caffeine, especially mid-afternoon and later in the day. Caffeine is a stimulant, which increases alertness, nervousness and fidgeting. Common sources of caffeine for kids include sodas, sweet tea, energy drinks, specialty coffee drinks and chocolate.