Back to school often which means those late nights of catching fire flies and running barefoot until the sunsets will be replaced by an early bedtime. And that is ok!
Sleep is important at any age. When children are well rested, they can be happier, more alert, and ready to learn! While school shopping is important, make reestablishing healthy sleep habits a priority for the entire family.
Here are a few tips to help you get your family back on track and ready for school!
- Start early. Introduce an early bedtime to help your child get more rest and get back into the routine. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports the recommendation that school aged children need an averageof 9-12 hours of sleep every night. Turn the lights out early to help them get the sleep they need!
- Follow the routine. Allow your child 15-30 minutes of a bedtime routine to help them calm and relax their body. Set a timer to help keep everyone on task and create a chart so your child knows what comes next in the routine. Sticking to the routine makes it easier to avoid falling into the trap of “one more book” or “5 more minutes.” If you have a preschooler or big kid, help them make a bedtime routine chart to stay on task.
- Replace screen time with green time. TV and other electronic distractions can actually make it more challenging for a child to prepare for sleep. Turn off the electronic devices at least 1 hour before bed. Instead, get outside and enjoy those few remaining summer evenings.
- Be a role model. Getting back into the routine of packing lunches and getting the kids off to school is tiring for parents too. Set a good example and make healthy sleep habits a priority for the entire family. Unplug, relax and try to also take advantage of an earlier bedtime.
- Be consistent. Children thrive on routine and consistency. Remain consistent, even on the weekends, to help everyone get back on track!
Don’t forget to be patient. It can take a few weeks for children to adjust to a change in their routine. Remaining positive, patient and consistent sets your child up for success not only at home but at school as well!
Finally, if you need a plan to help your family establish healthy sleep habits that can have lifelong benefits, I am here to help.