The Mindful Life™ Blog

Back To School – Back To Sleep

I love summer. Riding my mountain bike, long walks with my dog, dinner and drinks out on the porch, and NOT GIVING A YOU-KNOW-WHAT about what time my kids go to sleep (full disclosure, they go to bed after I do!!). But it is back to school time, and that means it is game-on for figuring out proper bed times, good routines, and fighting over “five more minutes.”

For those of you with little ones, the lack of sleep typically shows up in behavior –cranky, defiant, not nearly as much fun to be around. For those of us with older ones, we also see the crankiness, and we see the pressures of school, both socially, academically and extra-curricularly (I made that word up!), have a negative effect.  A study of 7000 kids showed that kids with an A average got 15 more minutes of sleep than kids who got Bs, and 15 more than those with a C average. Better sleep = better results.

And for us parents, sleep is massively important. Eight hours of sleep is the magic number for your prefrontal cortex to function best.  Less than eight hours affects our ability to be engaged at the levels we desire as parents, professionals, and happy humans. When I don't get enough sleep, I don’t just wander the house looking for my car keys (hint, they are in the car), I am quick to snap at my kids, I stare at my computer screen in some sort of brain fog, and I too easily skip my much needed workout.

So, how do we go from summer fun to a school sleep schedule? I used to think the slow, ease your way back in to it by knocking off 5-10 minutes each night was the way to do it, but let’s face it – I want to milk every last ounce out of those summer nights just as badly as my kids do. So, I am now much more focused on the rip-the-bandaid off method, and I commit to making sure that by 1 week (2 weeks, max) into the school year, we are all back on schedule.

To help you get to this spot, check out a sleep guide I created here. If you need adaptations for any of these steps based on your child’s age, just shoot me a quick email, and I will get right back to you.

P.S. A Moxie Tribe registration opens next week!! To ensure priority enrollment and pricing, join our waitlist here.



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