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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Back to School ‘Sleep Boot Camp’

Published in Media Releases Author: CentraCare

St. Cloud, Minn. - Preparing your child for the first week back to school takes more preparation than filling a backpack with pencils and paper. It means getting their sleep schedule adjusted to getting up earlier.

For most children, the time to start the transition to the new schedule is one to two weeks before school starts. Begin by having your child go to bed one hour earlier than his or her current bedtime and get up one hour earlier for at least a couple of days. Then, move up the bedtime and wake time earlier again every couple days until the child is getting up at the new “school” schedule time. 

Helpful suggestions for getting to sleep earlier:

  • no electronics 1 hour before bedtime
  • absolutely no texting or talking on the phone in bed at night
  • avoid caffeine
  • aerobic exercise should be completed at least an hour or two before bedtime
  • reading before bedtime is great
  • a light bedtime snack is okay
  • straighten up the bedroom a little bit, wash the sheets and pillowcase and make the bedroom feel comfy and safe
  • blackout shades can darken the room (it is hard to fall asleep with sunlight pouring into the window)
  • keep a comfortable room temperature
  • keep a regular bedtime and wake time
  • do not let your child sleep in too much on weekends or else they will not be able to fall asleep on a Sunday night before school on Monday morning.

Having a routine when getting up reinforces good sleep habits. Children who eat breakfast perform better on achievement tests and have better concentration.

“Being a positive role model for your child helps set a lifetime of healthy habits.” says Troy Payne, MD, FAASM, medical director of the St. Cloud Hospital Sleep Center.

People who do not get enough sleep at night have an increased risk of weight gain, diabetes, poor concentration, moodiness, irritability and poor attention. Certain symptoms and conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be greatly worsened by insufficient sleep. The average 5-12 year old needs 9-12 hours of sleep each night. The average teenager needs 8-10 hours of sleep each night. Studies show that the average teen in the United States is not getting enough sleep on a regular basis.

St. Cloud Hospital Sleep Center reminds you that a good balance of exercise, nutritious foods and sleep is needed for good health. If you have questions about you or your loved one’s sleep habits, talk to your doctor or call 320-251-0726. May you sleep well tonight!