Healthy Tips for the Start of School

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 26,106
    Dr. Russ shares his healthy tips for the best first day of school.

    Dr. Russell Greenfield: I hope your entire family has enjoyed a wonderful summer, but now it's time to get ready for the start of school. To ensure smooth sailing through this transition period between the lazy playful days of summer and the rigors of the school year, it's best to get everyone into a good sleep routine even before the school year starts. Your children have likely gotten spoiled over the summer by getting the chance to stay up late. But the days of early morning awakenings are coming, don't wait. One week before school starts, have the children go to bed early as if they were attending school in the morning. Letting your children stay up late until the day before school makes it unlikely that they will be fully awake for the first few days of class. Establish a set bedtime, so your children can get the sleep they need nightly in order to be at their best. The amount of sleep they need will depend on their age. With younger children needing an average of a 11 hours each night and middle schoolers and teens needing a good 8-9 hours of sleep. Once you set a time for them to be in bed, gently enforce the rules. Turn all the electronic gazettes off and lights down about an hour before bedtime. Exciting video games, TV shows, and loud music, don't set the stage for falling asleep easily. On the other hand, soft music can prepare your little ones for sleep, and playing music at a set time each night establishes a ritual that can be enjoyable. Even comforting for the entire family. And while a small after dinner snack is fine, save the highly sugar treats for special occasions that occur early in the day. Start the school year off right by making sure the whole family is getting a good night sleep.