Back to School Sleep Routine
Back to school can be a stressful time for families. With kids needing an average of 9-10 hours of sleep a night, not getting enough sleep can only add to any already stressful situation. That’s why it’s important to start establishing a sleep routine early and stick with it!
Setting a Sleep Schedule
When establishing a sleep schedule, it’s more effective to make small changes gradually rather than big changes all at once. A good starting point is to get to bed 15 minutes earlier and wake up 15 minutes earlier the next morning. For example, if lights out is at 8:00 in the summer, try making sure everyone is ready for bed by 7:45 a month before school starts, then 7:30 the next week, and so on. By the end of the month, you’ll have naturally set your kids’ bedtime back an hour.
It can be easy to slip into the old summer schedule on weekends—especially when it’s still light earlier in the evening. However, it’s important to maintain the routine even on the weekends and not use Saturdays as a day to sleep in or catch up.
Creating a Sleep Environment
Once the kids are ready for bed, it’s important to create a calm sleeping environment to unwind for the day. One way to make sure kids are unwinding is to enforce an electronics curfew an hour before bed. Electronics can create light exposure, which increases mental activity instead of settling kids down. Instead, replace time on a phone or tablet with reading a book to your child or telling them a story.
After they’ve wound down, create a cozy sleeping environment by making sure lights are dim and the room is between 68-72 degrees for an ideal sleeping temperature. Try to limit outside noise by adding soft music or white noise to the room.
Morning and Daytime Matter Too!
It can be easy to hit the snooze button and let kids sleep in a little extra in the beginning, but it’s important to stick with the plan. To help kids shake grogginess, consider a natural sunrise alarm clock, or open the blinds. These tactics are also proven to benefit their overall mood in the morning!
Your sleep routine is important, but it can be a lot easier to adjust to if you establish a daytime routine too. Ideally, kids should be cut off from caffeine after lunch, or at the very least, three hours before bed.
What other tips do you have for bedtime routine? Share them below!