• When you should start the back to school sleep schedule

    By: Jason Solowski , Sara Underwood

    Updated:

    Eight-year-old Norah Cotter and her 4-year-old sister Taryn aren't ready for summer to end.

    "It's not fun getting back into your schedule! Not fun!" said Norah.

    Their mother Molly doesn't feel the same.

    "The summer's great, we love it, but it's kind of nice to get back to a routine again," said Cotter.

    With the school year fast approaching, she's going to try getting the girls back on their school sleep schedule.

    "It's been a little bit loosey-goosey all summer," Cotter said.

    Many parents are trying to figure out when they should start their kids' normal sleep schedule.

    "The natural tendency of kids is to sleep later, so you have to set up the routine so they go to bed earlier," said Dr. Bernard Kinane, a sleep specialist for the Mass General Hospital for Children.

    Kinane says parents should really start getting kids on their regular sleep schedule two weeks before school starts.

    "Basically the issue is the first week it's hard to get kids to develop a routine," said Kinane

    For getting into to your back to school sleep routine, the National Sleep Foundation recommends maintaining a regular bedtime even on the weekends, limiting caffeine after lunch, and keep electronic devices like smartphones and video games out of the bedroom.

    >> More: Back to school sleep tips

    "Basically, you should be limiting screen time for two hours before you go to bed," said Kinane.

    He says nine hours is the average kids should sleep.  He recommends at least ten hours for kindergartners and eight hours for teenagers.

    Molly says she'll start tapering back the girl's bedtimes this week.  Eight o'clock for Norah, 7:30 p.m. for Taryn.

    Kinane says there's nothing wrong with going cold turkey and waiting until the last day to go to bed early.  He says it will just take a few days for your body to get back on schedule.

    "I'd rather do the summer schedule than the school schedule," said Norah Cotter.

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