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Getting your child's sleep schedule back on track

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ATLANTA -

Dr. Gary Montgomery, Director, Sleep Center at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, stopped by Good Day Atlanta on Tuesday and offered his tips on getting your child's sleep schedule back on track now that school has started!

Tips:

  • Several weeks to a month before the start of school, set a limit for the latest bedtime and wake up time. Then gradually move these times earlier (about 15 minutes every other day, time permitting) as the school year starts to approach.
  • Soak in summer's last days with early mornings rather than late nights. Emphasize activity and bright light in the morning: go outside and take a walk or play with friends, don't sit indoors or in front of the television.
  • Maintain a regular bedtime -- keeping the same sleep schedule makes it easier to fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning.
  • Establish a sleep routine -- avoid exercising or doing anything too intellectually stimulating in the last couple of hours before going to bed.
  • Create a good sleep environment -- cool, dark, quiet and comfortable.
  • Limit caffeine, especially after lunchtime.
  • Turn off the TV. Flickering light and disturbing content can prevent good sleep. And, adolescents with four or more such items in their bedrooms were more likely than their peers to get an insufficient amount of sleep at night and almost twice as likely to fall asleep in school and while doing homework.
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