Back to School: Getting kids into the morning routine

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(WEAU) - Now that summer vacation is over, kids have a lot of work to do this week, and not just their homework.

Kids have been used to lounging in their pajamas and watching TV, but there are ways your child can get the 10 hours of sleep a local sleep specialist recommends.

Sleep is what everyone needs to start the day and for kids it’s even more important.

"There's a recent study that showed that kids really do worse if they haven't gotten adequate sleep," said Dr. Timothy Young, Mayo Clinic Health System Sleep Specialist.

Take the Kuenkel family for example. The family has twin boys almost in preschool and one child headed to 4th grade and another headed to 2nd, but getting that 10 hours can be hard.

"To get them ready and in bed and homework done and enough time to get those 10 hours of sleep it is a struggle," said Katie Kuenkel of momseveryday.com

"The key is to talk about it ahead of time. The night before make sure they know the expectations so you’re not fighting with them in the mornings," said Young.

Dr. Timothy Young of the Mayo Clinic Health System says kids should also get at least 30 minutes or more of exercise a day which can help them fall asleep faster.

Moms Everyday's Katie Kuenkel says her four kids are always busy.

"My kids usually don't have a hard time falling asleep because they are so active during the day. We spend a lot of time outside playing, riding bikes," said Kuenkel.

Parents also have to be aware that kids may not be going to bed when they say. They could be under their covers reading a book or playing a game which means they’re not getting the proper amount of sleep that they need.

Yet, there are ways to get the sleepiest child of the bunch out of bed on time.

"Setting one alarm is fine, setting two alarms is even better, especially if the second alarm is out of reach of their bed," said Young.

That is exactly what happened to nine-year-old Sarah.

"We moved it across the room so she had to physically get up and get out of bed but we also had to change it from the radio to the buzzer," said Kuenkel.

Dr. Young even says kids should stop snacking 20-30 minutes before bed.

"I try to cut off the drinks a little bit earlier because I think that wakes the children up during the night sometimes when they have to go to the bathroom," said Kuenkel.

"Try to avoid doing work right up until bedtime. All of us need a little time to unwind 20-30 min in the evening. Maybe do some pleasure reading," said Young.

"They come down and they eat breakfast. They get their teeth brushed, but I usually try to allow for at least an hour for that morning routine to happen," said Kuenkel.

Dr. Young also says a healthy breakfast can definitely start the day out right and help reduce childhood obesity.

Although kids are used to slower paced mornings, there is hope that your child will get back into the morning habit. Just give it some time.



 
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