Back 2 School: Ways to prepare children to wake up early for class, whether online or in-person

SUGAR LAND, Texas – Staying up late (probably with too much screen time) has just been the norm for a lot of kids for months. This means returning to class, whether on campus or online, is bound to be a rude awakening for some.

Pamela Sanders, MD, from Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in Sugar Land, said children need 9-11 hours of sleep. Teens and adults should get 8-10 hours of sleep.

In order to begin waking up earlier, Sanders said students should start an effort of going to sleep slightly earlier than they’re used to right now every night until they’re waking up closer to time for school.

“Maybe shifting it by about 15 minutes or so each night and morning. Usually within a couple of weeks, people can get onto whatever schedule they’re going to need,” Sanders said.

For online learning, Sanders said the most important thing you can do is create some kind of structured schedule to set them up for success.

“Some kids are very much self-starters and it’s not going to be a problem for them but for those who aren’t, I think they’ll really need some help understanding how important it is to take school seriously so that they don’t get behind and have those kids maybe sit down together and come up with what that schedule is going to look like,” she said.

There is some hope a vaccine for COVID-19 could be available by the spring semester. Sanders said it’s likely she’ll recommend it, along with other child vaccines, once it’s available but so far, the ones in human trials have not been tested on kids.