4 Healthy Sleep Tips to Help Your Child Get Ready for School
With the start of the school year just around the corner, parents are wondering how they are going to get their child back into healthy sleep habits so that they can be ready to learn that first day. Relaxed schedules during the summer might make it difficult to get up early for school and get back into a routine. Here are 4 tips to help your child get back into healthy sleep habits and ready for the upcoming school year.
1. Make sure your child is getting enough healthy sleep
Sleep is very important for your child’s growth, learning and development. School aged children should be getting about 10-12 hours of sleep a night, and if they are not getting enough sleep they may have problems with memory, concentration and problem solving. If your child has difficulty getting up in the morning, is having excessive sleeping on the weekends, is falling asleep during school or are hyperactive or having problems getting along with others, they probably need more sleep.
2. Establish a bedtime routine
A bedtime routine is a consistent soothing ritual that takes place leading up to lights out. It can include a few or many steps to help your child’s body wind-down and get ready for sleep. This is a great time to talk about your child’s day, do a quiet activity or read a book together. Exclude things like video games, television or use of the computer during your child’s bedtime routine. The light emitted from these electronics inhibits the production of melatonin making it more difficult for your child to sleep.
3. Move bedtime earlier
With the longer days and lack of schedule over the summer, it’s likely your child’s bedtime has crept later and later. To ensure they are well rested for the start of the school year, move their bedtime earlier in 15-minute increments every few days. Once you’ve reached a reasonable bedtime for their age, try to keep it consistent. Be mindful of signing your child up for too many evening classes, lessons or activities. With a full day of school, your child will most likely come home exhausted and will either need some down-time or an earlier bedtime. If your child has been used to napping and will no longer be able to do so at school, an earlier bedtime will be important to help them transition smoothly.
4. Set a consistent wake time
If you child has been sleeping in this summer, help him or her get ready for the school year by moving their wake time earlier each day. Move it 15 minutes earlier every few days to give their body a chance to adjust. Once their wake time is set to an appropriate time for school, keep it consistent. You want to allow plenty of time to have a good breakfast without rushing out the door. This will ensure a great start to the day.
Here are some useful tips on creating the best Healthy Sleep environment for your kids.
Jenn Kelner is a mother of three children, including twins, and a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant at BabyZzz. Just as every family is unique, Jenn supports many different sleep methods and works directly with families to design a solution that will help them become well-rested, happy families.