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Back to School- How to Fix a Sleep Schedule


Fixing a sleep schedule while going back to school is an essential but challenging question—facts and easy technics to make it easier.

For many children, summer vacation is characterized by a change in sleeping habits that parents have taken care of throughout the school year. However, although many parents still try to maintain a particular framework of sleeping and waking hours, they soon discover that this is an impossible task and accept that the children go to bed late, making them wake up late. Thus, with the start of the school year, the question arises: How to fix a sleep schedule?

As every parent knows, and this is also supported by research in sleep medicine, sleep is crucial in functioning and concentration in school. Children who do not get enough hours of sleep or whose sleeping hours are not organized may experience significant disruption in daily functioning. They are also prone to hyperactive behavior, ADHD, and extreme mood swings. All of these can lead to learning difficulties and a general decline in achievement – a situation that no parent aspires to.

Lose a battle to win a war

During summer vacation, if you struggle to maintain the sleep schedule hours that were common at home during the school year, and you find yourself arguing with the children frequently about sleep, know that you are not alone. This is a common and familiar phenomenon.

My advice is that “it is permissible to lose a battle to win a war.” Instead of arguing about going to bed, keep in mind the number of hours the child sleeps. It does not matter whether the child went to bed at 10:00 pm as long as he slept enough hours. Children need an average of 9-10 hours of sleep a night.

However, when the kid is back to school and during the school year, it is essential to ensure sufficient and orderly hours of sleep. Therefore, before going back to school, it is crucial to get children back on track. In addition, it is worth knowing that the process of “resetting” the internal clock is a process that takes about two weeks and does not take place in one night. Therefore, it is advisable to answer ‘how to fix sleep schedule’ several weeks before school.
Suppose you have read the article already during the school year, not wrong. Then, you can use the same techniques at any time.


“Most children experience difficulty returning to a school-adapted sleep routine. Try to create a regular agenda and sleep routine prior to returning to school.”

Dr. Bar-Yosef

How many hours of sleep do the children need?

The recommendations of sleep doctors state that children of primary school age need 10-11 hours of sleep a night to function well on the school day. High school teens need at least 8 hours of sleep on school days. Although children go to bed late on a sporadic basis during summer vacation, it is advisable to accustom them to regular and satisfying hours of sleep upon returning to school.

How to fix a sleep schedule while back to school?

Talk to the child – it is advisable to explain to the child the importance of sleep. For example, they can show that sleep plays an important role in growth (growth hormone is secreted during sleep). In addition, cognitive-mental processes (thinking, memory, problem-solving, etc.) take place during sleep. Therefore, the child’s cooperation with the process will be better if done out of understanding.

  • Return to routine – the period of freedom is characterized by a “break” of the frameworks and the daily routine. In contrast, during the study period, one returns to the rules and the framework. During the summer break, parents tend not to adhere to strict rules and laws as during the school period. Therefore, towards the beginning of the school year, it is recommended to start rebuilding the rules and laws for the school period, which will allow the child to adapt to the school framework.
  • Graduality – It is advisable to prepare a gradual plan of returning to regular sleeping hours. A few days before the start of school, the child must be woken up at a fixed time – 8:00 am or before.
  • Sleep hours – Children need between 8-11 hours of sleep a night, depending on their age. Sleep is a paramount physiological need. Therefore, it is important to give the child the sleep time needed for normal development and growth.

More essential tips on how to fix a sleep schedule

  • It is recommended to expose the child to sunlight immediately upon awakening. Sunlight quickly reduces the level of melatonin – the hormone that induces sleep.
  • Children should avoid sleep during the day. However, if the child is exhausted, he can be allowed to sleep for no more than 45 minutes. The child should get up no later than 5:00 pm.
  • It is recommended to exercise in the afternoon for 45 minutes. Make sure that the activity does not continue after 5:30 pm. Possible activities: walking, cycling, ball games, or any other physical activity.
  • Try to avoid consuming stimulants such as carbonated beverages and chocolate (which contain caffeine) in the afternoon.
  • It is advisable not to eat within two hours of bedtime.
  • When it comes to sleep-disordered breathing, the initial problem must be treated. Strict treatment of the problem (if it is asthma) and therapeutic intervention if it is an enlargement of the tonsils and polyps.

In conclusion

How to fix a sleep schedule while going back to school is an essential but challenging question.

  • Talk to your child about the importance of the matter and gradually get back to routine.
  • Ensure sun exposure, sports, and proper nutrition.
  • Have a successful and healthy school year!
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