Back to School: Getting your kids back on a sleep schedule

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Back to school means back to early morning wake-up calls.

Getting out of bed is not easy for kids who are used to sleeping in all summer.

Dr. Gonzalo Diaz with the El Paso Sleep Center in West El Paso offers some ways to help get your kids sleep routine back on track.

“It’s very important when you wake up to get light from outside. The ideal is you actually go outside and walk 30 minutes in the morning in the sun with no sunglasses,” said Diaz.

Diaz said the walk can help energize your child for the day.

He said schools are focused on making sure kids eat healthy and get exercise, but said getting enough sleep is even more important.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, children need an average of six to eight hours of sleep a night.

Teenagers need about nine hours of sleep, but Diaz said most teenagers don’t even get eight hours of sleep.

Small children as young as five need the most sleep, at least 10-11 hours.

Diaz said the consequences of your child not getting enough sleep could be pretty serious.

“A kid that you suppress one hour every night, that’s sleep deprived every night, for five hours a week, he’s going to behave like an attention deficit disorder kid just because of the lack of sleep,” said Diaz.

Diaz said there are some signs to look out for to determine if your child is not getting enough sleep:

  • Inattentive
  • Can’t concentrate
  • Changes in personality
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Drug use

Diaz said the safest way to ease into a new sleep schedule is adjusting your bedtime and wake-up time 30 minutes at a time.

Article taken from elpasoproud.com

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