Sleep and Organization Key to Preparing for a New School Year

Kelly KreislerBy Kelly D. Kreisler, MD, MPH, FAAP, Pediatrician and Chief Health Officer for Health Partnership Clinic

The start of the new school year is just around the corner. Preparing for back to school is key to a successful transition. Two key components are sleep and organization.


Getting enough sleep is an important foundation of physical and mental health and school success. Children and caregivers are often surprised by the amount of sleep children need at every age. Children three to five years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours. Children six to 12 years of age should sleep nine to 12 hours per 24 hours. Teenagers should sleep eight to 10 hours per 24 hours.

When deciding on a bedtime, start with the time the child needs to be at school, then determine how much time is needed to get ready, and finally look at the recommended amount of sleep for your child’s age. To move from summer bedtime to school year bedtime, gradually move bedtime earlier by 30 minutes every week. No phones, tablets, or TV in the bedroom is an essential rule for quality sleep.


Sleep and organization key to preparing for a new school yearDepending on the age of your child, write down or have them write down everything they have to do to get ready for school. Be very detailed. Have them practice doing these things and time them to make it a game.

To avoid morning stress, do as much as possible the night before. Make lunches, lay out clothes and place homework and school supplies by the door. Create a checklist that includes visual aids for children with special needs like anxiety, ADHD and autism. Involving your child in the process ahead of time will help avoid frustration. Don’t forget to get all of your child’s prescriptions refilled, vaccines and a school physical completed to be prepared for a successful school year.

Sleep and organization key to preparing for a new school yearHealth Partnership Clinic offers back-to-school and sports physicals at all our clinic sites, including Olathe, Shawnee Mission, Paola and Ottawa. At the Olathe site, we offer a Walk-In Pediatric Clinic, Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to Noon.

To schedule an appointment at one of our sites, call 913-648-2266.

In addition, this summer, the clinic is offering school and sports physicals and well child checkups, including immunizations, vision, hearing and dental screenings, fluoride treatments and behavioral health visits, if needed, to children and adolescents attending Shawnee Mission School District on Thursday, Aug. 3 and 10 at the Shawnee Mission West High School in Overland Park, Kan. We are also accepting appointments for Saturday, Aug. 12, which is Children’s Health Day in celebration of Community Care Clinic Month, at the Olathe clinic located at 407 S. Clairborne Rd., Olathe, Kan.

To make an appointment, call 913-648-2266.

Summer Back to School Events (PDF)