LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Amy Cipriano is a nanny for six kids – five of whom will be starting a new school year in a couple of weeks.
"In the summertime they stay up till three or four in the morning and then they get up around noon," she said.
Cipriano added she's now trying to get them back into a school sleeping routine.
"This week I've reigned them back, going to bed at 11 p.m." she said.
"Then next week I'll reign them back to their normal time, around 10 p.m. That's only a one hour difference."
"It takes up to two weeks to adjust to a new sleep schedule," said Dr. Ivy Andersen, of Gundersen Lutheran's Neurology Department.
"That's why parents will often note at the start of school that their kids are cranky or kind of crabby, and that they whine when they have to get up so early in the morning," Andersen said.
She added a lack of sleep translates to poor performance in the classroom.
Anderson said kids who aren't sleeping enough will experience short term memory problems, and can also have a hard time absorbing and learning information.
Anderson said high school and middle school students should be sleeping eight to nine hours a night, and that number rises, to nine or 10 hours a night, for elementary school children.
The best way to get them back into school year habits is to wake them up earlier each morning – starting now.
"When we wake up in the morning we're most awake and alert," Andersen said.
"Then we build up this sleep debt through the day. So as time goes by we're more likely to fall asleep at a regular bedtime," she said. "So if you get your children up earlier, they'll want to go to bed earlier."
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