During the summer, it's easy for families to put aside strict bedtime rituals and for children to go to bed later than usual, or to sleep well into the morning. Teens who find summer a great time to socialize without the demands of homework may be up later than they would during the school year. And parents, who have enforced bedtimes during the school year, may themselves want a break from arguing about when it is time to go to bed.
Unfortunately, moving from the pace of summer to the more demanding days of school, and the need for a reasonable amount of sleep before leaving home at an early hour, can't happen the night before school starts. Families need to start at least a couple of weeks in advance -- more if possible -- to ease into the schedule they will follow in the fall. It's also important to think about whether your child's regular school year sleep patterns provide sufficient good quality sleep to help make their upcoming year a success.