By CG News Desk

Back-to-School Time Rough on Parents, Too

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We all know that back-to-school time can be stressful on kids — especially after a long, leisurely summer filled with fun, friends and free time. But what about parents? A new Harris interactive study suggests that back-to-school time and all the hectic preparations, financial concerns and worries about kids’ academic progress really stresses parents out. The survey found that one in four parents of school age children said they felt a lot of extra stress during the back-to-school season, and one in three reported losing sleep. The younger the kids, the more stress the parents felt, the study showed. "In the fall, parents return to a 'three-shift day' involving office work, household chores, and expanded childcare duties such as after-school activities, homework or carpooling," says Rafael Pelayo, M.D., assistant professor at Stanford University's Sleep Disorders Clinic in Palo Alto, Calif. "Parents may feel there aren't enough hours in a day to take care of all these responsibilities, so parents may feel forced to stay up later and get up earlier. They may have problems sleeping once they're in bed as they think about all the work that needs to be juggled. "Working parents may return from August family vacations exhausted and with a desk piled with work and back-to-school preparations," Dr. Pelayo notes. "One of the best things parents can do to ready themselves is to normalize their sleep patterns and get needed rest.” For some parents who have pronounced difficulty sleeping night after night, professional help should be considered, he suggests. Short-term use of one of the newer prescription sleep medications can help them get their sleep back on track with minimal next-day effects as they establish a new routine. Talk to your doctor. For more information and other resources on sleep, visit www.shuteye.com, www.healthysleeping.com, or www.sleepfoundation.org. — Denise Mann

 

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