Is your Sleep Schedule Going to be a Wake Up Call for Back to School Days?

I had the honor of hosting WTVD Anchor/Reporter Julie Wilson and WTVD photographer, Shawn, in my home last week to talk about getting kids back into the groove on their sleep schedules as school begins.

In Wake County, traditional school begins on Monday. Here's the story.

Working parents outside the home have probably stayed fairly consistent in their schedules, but I have not.

We are a mess in this family. We've stayed up way too late and slept way too late in the morning.

My kids have never been easy with bedtimes except for when they were babies. That was easy peasy.

Now, I would classify them both as huge pains in our behinds. Getting my kids to bed now is a lot of work. My son has nighttime rituals that would make any sane person crazy. His covers have to be tucked in just right. The other won't go to sleep alone. Just as you've rubbed her back for the one billionth stroke, you slowly try to get out of her bed. Suddenly, you feel her feet wrap around you like an anaconda.  Immediately you hear, "I'm not asleep yet. Don't leave!"

What happened to us? We're two college-educated people. Why can't we put our children to be with success like other families seem to do?

We look at bedtime as our version of hell. It's something I dread nightly. Because even when we think they are snug as a bug in their beds, at least one usually makes a surprise appearance later in the evening.

Fill in the blank with whatever works best.
"The light is shining in my window."
"I have a headache."
"I feel itchy."
"My covers are not right."
"I'm hot."
"I  just can't go to sleep."

That last excuse always comes from our son. Instead of staying in bed and trying to go to sleep, he gets up and tells us that he cannot sleep.

Kids can wear you down. I think kids bedtimes sometimes get pushed back because if you start at 7 pm luck as it that you still aren't done with them two hours later. I think I'm guilty of starting the process later in hopes the ritual will be shorter.

It never is better.

As I told Julie in our interview that did not make the segment, I think it will all work itself out once school starts. The first week or two will be rough, but after a few mornings of getting up early and having full days then our beds will look very good at night. I saw this a lot with my youngest during swim team season. She was basically putting herself to bed and doing it within minutes.

But, UNC Children's Hospital Pediatrician, Dr. Michael Steiner's advice is golden when he says the four B's allow for consistency:


Sleep Schedules are important for Back to School

Teens need about nine to eleven hours of sleep. Elementary school children need ten to twelve hours. He also suggested moving your routine back 30 minutes a night to get used to change.
It's a little late for us. School is Monday.

Lights out for all of us need to be 9 pm at the latest on school nights.  If any of my friends see my behind on social media after 9 pm, tell me to "Go to BED!"

On a Side Note: I'm thrilled to be partnering with UNC Children's Hospital to work on more health stories this year and I will be joining in the Walk for Children's Hospital in Raleigh, N.C. on November 4.  If you live in the Raleigh area, join us.

Midtown Park, North Hills Raleigh

Registration to open: 8:30 am
5k Walk to begin: 10:00am
Celebration in the Park: 11am – 1pm
Join us for food, fun and entertainment!

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