Fall is coming, so is earlier wake up times for kids

As fall school schedules are quickly approaching, many parents are likely dreading the thought of waking up the kids early to get to school on time.

The time is now to start thinking about earlier bed time and earlier wake ups. Dr. Harneet Walia, a sleep expert at Cleveland Clinic, has some advice. 

"Start waking the child fifteen minutes earlier. At the same time, start putting them to bed fifteen minutes earlier, on a daily basis and then small increments so that they can get into the school sleep-wake schedule," she says.

Dr. Walia says that teens tend to have the most difficulty adjusting because their bodies can be wired to a delayed sleep-wake schedule. This means they naturally want to go to bed late and get up late. 

But for parents with very young children, adjusting from a day-time nap to a full day of school with no nap can be a challenge, too. 

Dr. Walia recommends reducing naps for young children ahead of time by small increments and knocking them down to 15 minutes before completely eliminating them.

She says the goal for children of all ages is to get to bed early enough to get a good night's sleep. If your child is having trouble getting enough quality sleep, Dr. Walia suggests taking a look at their screen-time habits.

"We don't want exposures to TV, or any kinds of screen, before the bedtime. That can interfere with the sleep, the blue light from the screen can interfere with the sleep quality as well," she says.