August offers that last excitement of summer for kids. You can likely relate as the popular summer activities have persisted over the decades: sleeping in, daytime sprinkler-running, ice cream before dinner, and stay-up-too-late-sleepovers.
September usually comes crashing in with strict school schedules and increased workloads for parents. The result? Tired, cranky kids.
And tired, cranky adults.
Adjusting to new sleep schedules is tough. Adolescents typically require 8-10 hours of sleep to function optimally. Adults need about the same at 7-9 hours.
One strategy that parents and kids can use to reset sleep schedules is the use of a melatonin supplement. Melatonin is a neurohomone that helps regulate the sleep-wake rhythm. It can be taken orally to help re-establish that rhythm. It also appears to have antioxidant action and supports the immune system.
In general, doses for melatonin range between 1 and 5 mg and are taken 30-60 minutes prior to bedtime. Check with your doctor to determine what may be the right amount for you. They'll likely tell you to start with the smallest dose first (even breaking a tablet in half) to determine the right amount.
With or without a melatonin supplement, be sure to stick to your desired wakeup time. No endless snooze buttons! Waking up at the same time every day is a really effective strategy to reset your schedule fairly quickly. Learn more strategies from our Natural Sleep section.
The NMH newsletter goes out twice monthly. You'll receive helpful tips, resources, and special offers to optimize your mental health and create more joy, calm, and focus in your life.