Along with getting new school supplies and
clothing, re-establishing children's sleep habits
should be on parents' back-to-school to-do lists.
Children tend to go to go to bed and wake up
later during the summer, and altering this cycle
can be difficult, note experts at the University
of Florida, Gainesville. Parents should try
to get their children back into a school-year
sleeping schedule at least one or two weeks
before classes start, said Dr. Anne-Marie Slinger,
assistant professor of pediatrics, UF College
If a child isn't properly prepared and doesn't
get enough sleep, it can really affect their
"Sleep deprivation can have a pretty significant
effect on concentration, memory and even mood.
If a child is chronically sleep deprived, it's
far more difficult for them to participate in
classroom activities and learn new things. If
they're tired, they won't be engaged,"
Slinger said in a prepared statement.
In general, children require at least nine
hours of uninterrupted sleep to be ready for
Establishing a regular sleep schedule also
makes it easier to children to wake up in order
to have enough time to have a healthy breakfast,
another important factor in school performance.
"To help them prepare for a new school
year, it's important to talk to kids so they
know what to expect and to familiarize them
with their daily schedule before the school
year begins. There are a lot of things parents
can do to ease that transition back to school,"
For example, parents can schedule activities
-- such as brushing teeth, taking a bath, or
reading a story -- that assist the transition