It's time to get back to school and for many children it's going to mean a brand-new sleeping schedule. Many parents allow their kids to stay up later during the summer months when time is more flexible and the sun stays strong into the evening. For many children, making the transition back into a school schedule is difficult due to their summer sleeping habits.
A lot of parents try to transition their children into a school schedule a week before school starts. It's a good idea to get the kids slowly accustomed to going to bed earlier. This can be done by putting the children down a half hour earlier every evening. This helps to get them back on track so that there isn't a big jump between bedtimes as we gear towards the first day of school.
One of the problems with this method, however, is that it doesn't take into account the first day of school jitters that can manifest the night before school begins. A lot of children have a hard time getting to sleep the night before the first school day and all of your hard transitioning work may simply fall apart. If you remember back to your old school days, you can probably remember a few restless nights before school started.
This is a natural reaction and something that is common to see in kids of all types. Sometimes a warm drink of milk before bedtime can help put a child to sleep as well as some book reading time. A warm bath may also do the trick.
Sometimes the anxiety about not being able to fall asleep becomes more disturbing than the nervousness about starting school for the child. If you see this happening, you can simply encourage your child to focus on relaxing instead of falling asleep. When your child is able to relax there’s a much better chance that sleep will follow naturally.
In some cases you might have to crawl into bed with your child to help calm his nerves. If this helps him fall asleep faster, it's definitely worth a half hour or an hour of your time. After the first day, he'll be more relaxed about attending school on the following days.