School is coming up fast and that means having to adjust back to the school year sleep routine. If you or your kids are having trouble, here are some tips to help make the transition a little smoother.
Start 2 weeks early
The best thing to do is to set the routine in motion at least two weeks before it’s needed. That way, the body has time to adjust properly and it removes the risk of having to run out the door with sleep still in your eyes.
To make this work, it is best to do it in easy increments. Too often people try to cold-turkey their sleep routine. For best results, set an earlier bedtime each night and an earlier wake-up time each morning until you reach the desired (or undesired as it may be) times.
Stick with it
This may be the most important advice! Once the schedule is established, don’t deter from it, particularly on the weekends when it may be tempting to try sleeping in. (Sleep)
Relax before bed
Relaxing before bed makes it easier to fall asleep. Some relaxing bedtime routines for children include taking a bath and/or having a bedtime story. (Sleep)
No bright screens before bed
Avoiding bright screens before bed can be difficult but research has shown time and time again that looking at a bright screen negatively impacts a person’s ability to fall asleep. Bright screens include TVs, video games, tablets, phones, etc. (Sleep)
Watch what you eat
As we have said before in other blogs, what you eat before bed can have a negative impact on how you sleep including nightmares, gassiness, and an inability to sleep. Some quick things to avoid include caffeine, soda, and large meals.
The fewer distractions there are, the easier it is to sleep. It’s best to have televisions, video games, tablets, etc. in a different room. The bedroom should be a restful place. This can include having thick curtains for near total darkness, a comfortable bed, and an appropriate temperature (neither too hot nor too cold). (Sleep)
Set an example
Finally, be a role model and show them how it’s done. This not only makes it easier on your child, but it makes it easier on you as well.
As always, Quit Counting Sheep…Sleep with a Wolf!
Sleep Foundation. “Back to School Sleep Tips.” National Sleep Foundation, https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/back-school-sleep-tips-0. Accessed 25 July 2018.