Sleep is important for the health of children and teens. After a summer of sleeping in and staying up late, children’s sleep schedules are not ideal. Parents should help their children adjust their sleep schedules before the school year starts. Getting enough sleep each night helps kids perform their best in school and maintain a healthy lifestyle.


Sleep apnea has been linked to:

  • Adequate sleep improves learning readiness
  • Children 6-12 years old: 9-12 hours
  • Teens 13-18 years old: 8-10 hours
  • Sleeping fewer than the recommended hours per night can cause problems with attention, behavior and learning.

Am I At Risk:

Most children develop a different sleep schedule during the summer break. Some kids will struggle to adjust to an earlier sleep schedule when school begins. The back-to-school transition can be especially hard for teens, who tend to have a natural preference to be “night owls.”

Children and teens tend to stay up later at night and sleep later in the morning during the summer break. This makes it hard for them to fall asleep and wake up early when they go back to school in the fall. Students can be tired and cranky during the frst week of school, which makes it hard to learn. At least a week before school starts, parents and caregivers should help kids ease back into a school routine. Children should go to bed 15 minutes earlier each night and wake up 15 minutes earlier each morning. Continue this gradual process until bed times

and wake times are aligned with what is required for the school week. This process will help your child to be well-rested and alert during the frst week of school. Getting the right amount of sleep is important for a child’s development. Learning and absorbing information during the school day is easier when kids get enough sleep. A well-rested child is more likely to be healthy and energetic. He or she is more likely to get better grades in school and have a positive attitude toward life. A tired child may be more prone to emotional and behavioral problems.

  • Set a consistent bedtime for your child.
  • Develop a relaxing bedtime routine to help your child get ready for bed.
  • Help your child keep a consistent sleep schedule, even on weekends.
  • Keep the TV, computer and other electronic devices out of your child’s bedroom.
  • Turn off your child’s phone, tablet, TV, video games and computer at least 1 hour before bedtime.
  • Teach your child to avoid drinks that have caffeine.

Next Steps:

  • Talk to your child about the importance and benefits of healthy sleep.
  • Make healthy sleep habits a priority in your home.
  • Talk to your child’s doctor about any ongoing sleep problems.
  • Your child’s doctor may refer you to a sleep doctor for help.