Lisa Medalie, an insomnia specialist at University of Chicago and director of the Pediatric Insomnia Program, says she generally recommends her families to start shifting closer to a school year bedtime about 1 month before school starts.
“With the pandemic, families have not had a mandated wake time for several months, which means for many families, they have gotten pretty far off the regular schedule,” Medalie said. “Families that are several hours away from where they need to be with bedtime will likely have to start the shifting process sooner than families that are only an hour away from the desired bedtime.”
In addition to creating a sleep schedule, local sleep experts offer the following tips:
Use natural light to wake up. Especially for teens, bright light in the morning such as exposure to sunlight or a light treatment, can cue the brain to stop producing Melatonin, Medalie says.
Consider getting help. If your child is struggling with bedtime or sleep in general, Medalie suggests scheduling a visit with a pediatric insomnia specialist. Medalie, who is the founder of DrLullaby, says a digital version of evidence-based strategies like DrLullaby provides may help as well.