As summer begins to wind down and Back-to-School shopping begins, many parents start to dread the beginning of the new school year. The Kids going back to school means more time spent struggling to get them to do their homework and more projects and papers to work on. It also brings back the struggle to get the kids up and ready at an earlier time so they don’t miss the bus and you’re not late for work. However, there are many things a parent can do to help their kids get the right amount of sleep to go back-to-school. Here are 8 tips to help your kids get better back-to-school sleep.
1. Ease back into getting up early. Start about 2 weeks before the first day of school, slowly begin to set an earlier bed time at night and an earlier wake time in the mornings. That way when it comes to the first day of school your kids will wake-up with the correct amount of sleep they need according to their age group. Easing back into a morning routine also goes for parents as well. Parents often have to get up earlier so they can make sure their kids are ready for school. Make sure you begin to get up a little earlier each morning until you reach the time when you’ll need to get up as well.
2. Maintain a sleep schedule. Once you’ve established a sleep schedule with a reasonable wake time and bed time, keep up with it even on weekends.
3. Create a bedtime routine. This applies to both you and your children. An hour before bedtime begin getting things ready for the next day. This includes packing books and laying an outfit out for tomorrow, taking showers or baths, brushing teeth, etc. Make sure there is a quiet time for your child to begin relaxing, this can include a bedtime-story for young children or reading time for older children. Adults and children should stop playing video games, watching TV or using cell phones before bed. Make sure the routine is kept the same each night before bed as a routine will start to become a cue for everyone that it is almost time for sleep.
4. Keep electronic devices out of the room at night. This mainly applies for older children and adults who have their own cell phones. Make it a rule that the phone does not stay in the room after bedtime. This prevents the temptation to scroll through social media or text a friend one last time.
5. Listen to your body. When you’re tired, go to bed.
6. Avoid big meals close to bed time. Heavy meals may cause you to lose sleep because your body is focusing on digestion rather than falling asleep. Avoiding caffeine, spicy foods, alcohol, foods that are high in fat or protein and foods that contain water can also help to increase sleep as well.
7. Maintain a peaceful sleeping environment. A dark room, comfortable bed, and a room temperature that is between 60 and 68 degrees is ideal for sleeping. Ridding a room from electronic distractions such as a television, computers or video games will also allow for peaceful sleep.
8. Be a role model. Set a good example for your children by establishing your own regular sleep cycle to help maintain a home that promotes healthy sleep.
“Back to School Sleep Tips.” National Sleep Foundation, sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/back-school-sleep-tips-0.
Better, Sleep. “10 Tips for Better Back-to-School Sleep.” SleepBetterorg Sleep Deprived Teens at Risk for Depression and Suicide Comments, 22 Aug. 2017, sleepbetter.org/10-tips-better-back-to-school-sleep/.
Phillips, Kevin. “Foods for Sleep: A List of The Best and Worst Foods for Getting Sleep.” Celebrities and Sleep Disorders: Who Suffers from What?, 23 Jan. 2015, www.alaskasleep.com/blog/foods-for-sleep-list-best-worst-foods-getting-sleep.