“Back to School” means a time of transitions: Sleep cycles, mealtimes and activity levels all change significantly. Even if your children have graduated to homes and careers of their own, chances are good that you still need to adjust from the (relatively) carefree days of summer to the darkening days of autumn. With that in mind, here are five important preventive care strategies to help you and your loved ones make it through the school year in great health.
Bedtimes tend to drift during the summer months... the sun sets later and it’s hard to get the kids inside when there are so many fun things to do! Still, with school starting up, sleep becomes an important part of every family’s wellness strategy.
Sleep requirements vary according to age and even then every child is different: A good ballpark number for your kindergartener or first grader is 10 ¾ to 12 hours of sleep per day; your 7-to-12-year-old will probably be at their best with 10 to 11 hours of sleep per day; and even your high school student might need up to 9 ½ .1
As for Mom and Dad? We still need to get as close to 8 hours per night as possible. I will gently suggest that once you've settled your kids down for the night, grab your own pajamas and hit the hay. I am frequently in bed before my teenagers and I like it that way.
2. Continue to Get Out in the Sun
School means trading long days in the great outdoors for six hours or more sitting at a desk in a hermetically sealed germ factory. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration. I hope. Still, our children do give up some serious sun time when school starts. If we are not vigilant, this means they start to miss out on their daily dose of the “sunshine vitamin”, vitamin D.