Back to School Sleep Tips
It happens to the best of us (yes even my family), sleep schedules go out the door once summer arrives. Kids go to sleep later and wake up later (if your lucky to have “sleep in-ers”). In fact as I’m writing this morning, my own children are nestled in their beds sleeping at 8:30am. I must say it was nice to wake up and enjoy my cup of java in a peaceful and CLEAN home without the chitter chatter of my children in the background – although I do occasionally enjoy that too – but today I’m enjoying the bliss of silence.
I know that reality is going to set in very soon – summer is going to end and craziness of Fall is going to start (secretly I’m looking forward to it – 10 weeks of summer is a bit long for this gal!!!).
It’s time to start shifting back to our regular sleep schedules so our bodies and minds will not hate us once school begins. How to do this painlessly you ask? No worries I got you covered, don’t fret. Here are my back to school sleep tips:
- Two weeks before the beginning of school, start working on establishing an early bedtime. Start by moving your child’s bedtime earlier by 15 minutes every few nights until you reach an appropriate bedtime (between 7pm and 8pm for school aged children). If your child is having a difficult time falling asleep at an earlier bedtime, you can wake him or her up earlier in the morning as well to help reset their sleep clocks.
- An appropriate bedtime for school aged children is between 7pm to 8pm. However, if you are constantly waking your child up for school – then move bedtime earlier. Your child should be waking up without an alarm clock (aka mom/dad) feeling refreshed and well rested.
- Re-establish your calming bedtime routines if they have been thrown out the window during summer. Bath, reading, play a quiet cooperative game together are great ways to unwind and settle down for sleep.
- No exposure to electronic devices such as video games, computer, tv at least one hour before bedtime as they have a negative effect on sleep quality.
- Limit the sugar snacks well before bedtime as they will prevent your child from sleeping well. Yep, so no more ice cream before bed – oops did I really say that out loud??!?!
- Create a peaceful sleep environment for your child. Dark bedroom, comfortable bed, ideal room temperature.
- Help your child deal with their stress and anxiety about the upcoming school year. It is very common for child to worry about school. Here are some suggestion to deal with anxious children:
- Give your child the space to talk about his or her worries DURING the day so there will be less disruption and stalling at bedtime.
- Let them know its normal to have worries about school – don’t minimize or put down their concerns.
- Problem solve and role play with your child their concerns and positive ways of handling the problem.
- Focus on the positive aspects of school that your child is looking forward to.
- Praise, praise and more praise to your child for working through their worries.
Here’s to sleeping well!