Back to school sleep tips

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Can you believe it is time to go back to school already! Where did our summer go? Have the kiddos been staying up late all summer? Are you wondering HOW in the world are we going to get back in the swing of homework, after school activities, dinner by 6pm and then off to bed? There is something to be said about the slow summer days and making your own schedule and not having to answer to the beat of another drum.

Does the thought of getting back into the school routine make you anxious? I know that I am dreading the running around and rush to get out of the house every morning.

I am here to give you some tips on how to get everyone in your family back into the swing of things before school even starts.

Don’t Wait Until School Starts

Two to three months of late bedtimes isn’t something that is going to fix itself in one night. Your child is going to need some time to adjust. Two weeks or even the week before school gets back in, start moving bedtime back 15 minutes every 3 nights or so.

Set a timer

Are your kids always asking for just “1 more minute”? It is the perfect stall tactic. Use this to your advantage. When it is getting close to bedtime set the timer. Even let your child set it themselves. This helps defer the action to your child and it is in THEIR control to get that timer set and off to bed. You could even try to make it into a fun game!

Turn off those Screens

Computer, TV and phone screens all emit blue light, which tricks our internal clocks into thinking that its still daytime and delays the production of melatonin which prepares our bodies to sleep. Power down all electronics at least one hour before bedtime. For older kids (and parents) plug in your devices to charge over night and leave them out of the room. This removes any temptation to light up that screen.

Routine

It doesn’t matter if your child is going into kindergarten or high school. A good sleep routine is vital to preparing your mind and body for sleep. The routine signals their brain that bedtime is approaching and the brains starts shutting down I preparation for sleep. (que the melatonin!)

Schedule an Appropriate Bedtime

Having an appropriate bedtime is essential to a good nights sleep. Kids need a minimum of 10hrs of sleep a night. Lets say that 8pm is the ideal time. I know that some of you might think that your child is not tired until 10pm but really….. they have hit their second wind. Get them in bed so their little brains can soak up all of the knowledge they will be learning in school.

Keep the Room Cool and Dark

The summer sun is still staying up late when school starts. Make sure that our child’s room is dark. Using blackout shades is a good way to do this. Also make sure that their room is cool enough to sleep. I don’t know anyone that can sleep in a hot room in the middle of summer. If you need to put a fan in their room to keep them comfortable.

Allow Some Reading Time

Story time is a great way to wind down before bed. Where you are reading to your kiddo or they are reading on their own 15-20 minutes of reading is a great way to set the stage for bedtime. Did you know that the repetitive eye movement and low level brain activity acts as a natural sedative?

I hope that these tips help your family get back into the swing of things. I know that in this house it is definitely going to be an adjustment.