Summer is coming to an end, and we all know about getting a healthy start back to school! Transitioning from summertime fun to schoolwork and homework can be tough. There are simple steps that you can take to help your kids and their bodies feel a bit more at ease. As you already know, the healthier the body, the easier it is to tackle the stresses and strains of everyday life, and that includes getting back to a school time routine. Two of the most important support systems of the body to focus on are proper sleep and nervous system function.
Switching from late night sleepovers to school year bedtime is one tough battle. Sleep is vital to proper health and one of the best habits you can instill in your kids is making sure they get solid, restful sleep. Though it isn’t always easy, here are some simple tips to create healthy transition to school sleep routines.
Ideally, you will start to have your kids back to their regular bedtime/wakeup time one full week before school starts. If you’re really feeling like a superhero, two weeks is even better. That gives your child’s body plenty of time to adjust. If school has already started for some of you, you can still start the slow process of getting your child back on a bedtime routine. Have them go to bed 15 minutes earlier for three to four days. Then, increase the time by 15 minutes again. For example, if school bedtime is 8:30 pm and summer bedtime is 9:30 pm, two weeks before school starts (starting on a Sunday is easiest), have your kids go to bed at 9:10 pm. After a few days, make bedtime 8:50 pm. The small changes in time will make it easier for your child to adjust and by the time school starts, they will be back on schedule!
To make this process even easier, follow these tips:
· Turn off electronics at least one hour before bedtime. Rather than play on your cell phone, have your kids partake in relaxing activities like reading a book or listening to gentle music.
· Be sure that your kids are getting plenty of exercise. Not only does this help them acquire healthy habits that will benefit them for their entire lives, it also promotes proper sleep cycles and increases levels of fatigue at bedtime.
· Keep your kids hydrated. Every cell in their body requires water and supporting those basic needs will help them achieve restorative sleep. A good rule of thumb is to drink 0.5oz of water for every pound of body weight, so if your child weighs 100lbs, they should be drinking at least 50 oz. of water.
PROPER NERVOUS SYSTEM COMMUNICATION
Most kids are active in the summertime, from summer camp to swimming to just playing tag in the neighborhood. Switching from being very active to more cognitive activities (like using their brain in a greater variety of ways) to different function requirements (more sitting) can be stressful to the body and its communication system.
The nervous system is how the brain communicates with the rest of the body. Whether you are hoping for your child’s body to adjust more easily to sitting for long periods of time in class or for them to use energy efficiently to meet the demands of increased concentration and focus, the body must be communicating optimally. And a healthy spine means just that! Additionally, when the nervous system is communicating properly with the rest of the body, your child’s chances of getting healthier sleep increases. Having your child’s spine adjusted will improve their overall health and movement.
By making small tweaks to your child’s start of school routine, you will help both your child and you get back into the swing of things! Don’t miss out on our Back to School Sports Physical Special for only $25.00 during the entire month of August. This will also include a backpack check and scoliosis screening.