Children with ADHD can have a hard time adjusting to new routines. Therefore, transitioning from the late, lazy mornings of summer to getting up early for school can be a challenge. If you fell off your regular sleep schedule this summer, here are some tips to help you get back on track and make certain your child gets enough sleep for a happier start to the new school year.
- Start waking your child up a little earlier each morning and put them to bed a little earlier each night.
- Give 30 minutes of downtime before lights out. Avoid electronic devices and find a calming activity like reading or listening to music.
- Get back to your bed-time and morning routines. This includes when they eat, get dressed, brush their teeth, etc.
- Make sure your child eats well and exercises daily. This will affect how quickly they fall asleep and for how long.
- Avoid napping during the day. After age 5, naps should be a thing of the past. Make sure your child doesn’t nap during the day, so they are more prepared to sleep at night. (Of course, there are exceptions. If your child is overtired one day, it may be necessary for a mid-day nap.)
- Stay consistent. You should start this process at least 2 weeks before school begins. Once you start these routines, stick with them throughout the school year.
To help with these transitions, talk to your child. Make certain to discuss when you will be starting these routines, why it will help them, and your expectations. Getting enough sleep is important for everyone involved. You should set an example by following a good sleep schedule and routine as well. Before you know it, your family will be back into the swing of things and you will have a smooth, well-rested start to the school year.