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Tips to get your kids’ sleep schedule back on track for school

Tips to get your kids’ sleep schedule back on track for school

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Back to school means back-to-school sleep, so Local 12 gathered some helpful tips to get your kids used to a regular sleep schedule.

William is 5 years old. This year, he starts full-day kindergarten. His mother, Dr. Aleah Gibson, says the bedtime battle has been a nightmare.

"We've had an hour-and-a-half night of screaming fits because [he doesn't] want to go to bed," Dr. Gibson said.

Luckily, she's surrounded by a great support team at the St. Elizabeth Healthcare physicians' office in Lawrenceburg. Many, such as Dr. James Hahn, know not only about the bedtime battle, they know about the top three steps for better back-to-school sleep.

"It's about thriving; it's about helping kids not just survive, but thrive," Dr. Hahn said.

Step One: Back up bedtime.

"The best time to start inching back bedtime waketimes is now. It's going to make for a brutal first day of school if you wait until the night before to start working on that. So if you do start incrementally inching back bedtime, inching up waketime, it's not as much of rude awakening," said Dr. Hahn.

Step Two: Ease up screen time.

"By far the number one issue with sleep hygiene is the electronics. There isn't a close second," Dr. Hahn said.

Hahn says when you're engaged in electronics, video games or social media, you're stimulating the brain and the wavelengths of light signals your brain to suppress the hormone that makes you tired.

Step Three: Reward kids for sleep time, not just good grades or excelling in athletics.

"It is the best performance enhancer that we have," said Dr. Hahn.

Performance that's a lot easier without daytime drowsiness. Most school-aged kids need at least nine hours of quality sleep each night.

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