by ERIKA EDWARDS
A rude awakening is just ahead for kids who've been staying up late and sleeping past noon all summer.
"All of their biologic rhythms in their brain and body are getting accustomed to that late sleeping and getting up time, and we need to shift them to the school schedule," said Gary Montgomery, MD, Director of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Sleep Center
Dr. Montgomery says teenagers in particular need about two weeks to prepare for that early wake-up call.
Parents can help by getting their kids up an hour earlier every other day until they meet the desired time for school.
"Parents will notice that their child is naturally sleepy earlier at night, as we march that wake up time," said Dr. Montgomery.
Establishing a predictable nighttime routine can help with the transition.
Quiet activities, like reading a book, are recommended. Young children may need one-on-one time with mom or dad to calm down and prepare for sleep.
And when it's time for lights out -- that includes all electronic devices.
Elementary school age children need about 10 to 12 hours of sleep each night, teenagers need nine. However, each kid is different. You'll know your child is getting enough sleep when it is easy for them to go to bed and to wake up in the morning.