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Summertime is coming to an end. For many children, it is incredibly stressful knowing they will need to make new friends, meet new teachers, earn good grades, etc. Plus, there are social worries like having to be “popular.” It important for parents to remember that these feelings are very common, and even the most well-adjusted kids are bound to feel some sort of pressure when they return to school. While I have not seen statistics, I would not be surprised if pediatricians see a significant increase in reported cases of stomachache in September.  

 

The question becomes: what can parents do to help their children cope with the physical and emotional stresses associated with the back to school season? Over the next few weeks, I will share some tips that can help. Today, we talk about sleep patterns.

 

Children need at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night. Children that do not receive adequate sleep tend to be groggy, grumpy, and thus have a harder time concentrating in class. You can help your child enter each school day with a more energetic and positive approach simply by making sure they get the right amount of sleep each night.

 

Here’s how to set a healthy sleeping pattern with your children:

  • Establish a set bedtime and wake time for the weekdays. Make sure that you specify that this time is non-negotiable. Begin the new schedule now, not the night before the first day back.
  • Set up some rules for 1 hour prior to bed time. There are many things that can affect how well your children sleep at night. If you set up some ground rules, then you’ll see better sleeping habits:

ü  Make sure they eat dinner no later than 1 hour prior to bed time.

ü  Cut out all physical activities no later than 1 hour prior to bedtime. Children need adequate downtime before bed.

ü  Cut out any intense “stimulating” just prior to bedtime. This includes video games and computers. These can keep your child’s mind over-stimulated even after they’ve stopped.

  • Establish a 20 – 30-minute nightly “calm-down” bed time routine. The routine should include taking a bath, putting on their pajamas, reading, and other relaxing activities. TV viewing at bedtime is not recommended because it may affect your child’s ability to fall asleep.

Providing an outlet for children to exercise will help them to channel their energy, relieve stress, and maintain optimal health. Check out our school or one near you. An hour of exercise and social time will help your child to get a restful night's sleep much better than an hour of television or video games. Check out our website and get to know us. See you in the dojang. 



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