Shalini Paruthi, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics and a SLUCare sleep expert at Saint Louis University, said that if kids don't go to sleep on time, they tend to wake up late and not be ready for bed on time the next night.
She said that sleep deprivation can also cause them to lose focus and make more mistakes at school.
First tip that she gave was that it is really important for parents to wake them up at their usual school time a few days before school starts to make them accustomed.
She said that once kids are up at their usual school time, parents should have activities lined up to keep them busy throughout the day, so they don't nap during the day.
The third tip that she offered was that parents should put away electronics at least 30 minutes before bed, as the light on the screen can inhibit the production of melatonin and using electronic devices can stimulate brain activities, which could make it difficult to fall asleep.
She said that having a bedtime routine such as taking a shower, changing into pajamas, brushing teeth and listening to a bedtime story are good bedtime routine activities that can help a child fall asleep, asserting that a 15-minute bedtime routine is ideal.
Parents should also avoid using bedtime as a punishment, as the child could develop a bad association with going to sleep.
Paruthi also insisted that the bedtime pass concept - should be used where two handmade decorated cards are given to the kids, which the can use each time they need to speak with a parent or get out of bed and if they are able to keep one or both passes until morning, then each pass can be redeemed for an incentive.
She said that a parent should pay attention if their kids are having difficult sleeping even after all the above ideas have been tried.
--ANI (Posted on 12-08-2013)