Summertime is almost over and that means back to the grind. For parents, it can be a stressful time getting everyone back on a good sleep routine.
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Lauren Preusz is a mother of three young children and knows vacations, barbecues and late bedtimes must come to an end. But how?
"Bedtime definitely got pushed back a lot later than normal and then they were sleeping in later, but with school coming up they can't be staying up to 9 p.m. or 9:30 p.m., then waking up and getting to school by 8 a.m.," said Preusz.
She hired the Cradle Coach, a team of sleep consultants, to get back on track. She's worried about what the later bedtimes mean.
"Just being cranky and having more meltdowns. Lack of sleep definitely does that, and I didn't want to worry about behavioral issues at school, or them being too tired to actually be present, participate, and learn," said Preusz.
Sleep experts and doctors alike said to start now and roll the bedtime back in about 15- to 20-minute increments a day.
"This is now the time you should be moving the bed time up and that bedtime routine close to bedtime, so they associate the routine with the actual going to bed," said Dr. Celina Moore, a pediatrician.
Sleep consultant Janelle Aubert with the Cradle Coach said kids need about 10 to 12 hours of sleep overnight.
"Routine is huge," said Aubert. "Start bedtime routine about 45 minutes before bed and making sure your child has plenty of time to unwind."
She said to look at their diet and cut back on sugar. Aubert reminds parents that first time students can experience some sleep regression from the stress of a new routine.
"Take time to prepare," said Aubert. "Talk about it. Show them pictures and visuals and be sure to increase quality and one-on-one time with them."
She also said to, "Start talking about exactly whats going to happen. Mommy is going to take you in the morning. Daddy is going to pick you up."