“Time to get ready for bed.”
It’s a phrase that kids don’t want to hear from parents and parents know will start a fight, but it’s something they’ll all have to get used to as the new school year begins.
Whether they're starting pre-school or high school, it’s crucial students get enough sleep.
Soda Kuczkowski, a sleep health educator and owner of Start With Sleep on Hertel Avenue, said making sure kids start off with a healthy sleep schedule is a good place to start.
“A lot of times we don't think about it, so we don't put a plan in place,” she said. “I think the first is really what kind of, how much sleep your child needs or yourself needs and developing a plan for that.”
It's recommended that preschoolers between the ages of 3 and 5 get between 10 and13 hours of sleep each night.
Between the ages of 6 and 12, kids should get nine to 12 hours of sleep.
Teenagers should get between eight to 10 hours, and from the age of 18 to 64, the recommendation is seven to nine hours.
Kuczkowski said if parents want their kids to have a proper sleep schedule, they should be setting a good example themselves.
“With little ones, we actually see a lot of nighttime awakenings because it's really about that parent-child connection, so we're not getting as much of that because we're not present when we're with our kids,” she said. “Spending that one-on-one time and interacting is really important to their development as well and it also plays into how well they'll sleep at night.”
Tablets, phones and TVs should be turned off or put away at least two or three hours before kids go to sleep, she recommends.
"When you're talking about things like blue light, the reason why those recommendations are put into place because when we're exposed to that light, the blue light that's actually white not blue, what it does is it suppresses our body's production of melatonin, so when our melatonin production is suppressed, we're not able to get to sleep and to fall asleep and maintain our sleep throughout the night," she said.
When kids and teens don't get enough sleep, it can have significant impact on their health.
"If we are sleep-deprived, it affects our emotion response and reaction to things, impulse control, so all of those things,” Kuckowski said. “Teenagers are three times as likely to consider or attempt suicide if they sleep less than six hours per night.”
She recommends getting back to basics and taking a bath or shower, brushing your teeth, reading a book and going to bed.
Start With Sleep offers different programs and classes, as well as products to promote a healthy sleep routine.