Now that school is out, it’s tempting to let your kid’s bedtime routine become lax, allowing them to stay up late and wake up anytime they want. However, sticking to an established sleep schedule over the summer will make it easier for your child to stay healthy year-round and make the most of their summer vacation.
A study of 7-year-olds conducted by British researchers found that children’s behavior improved as their bedtimes became more regular. So, be firm and consistent to help your child develop a good bedtime routine all year long, Mom and Dad!
If you need a little extra help, take a look at these tips to keep your toddler bedtime routine on track this summer:
Bedtime Routine Sleep Tips
1. Ensure your child gets right amount of sleep for their age.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends children 6-13 years old need to rest for 9 to 11 hours each night while teenagers need about 8-10 hours of sleep each night. The right amount of quality sleep is just as important to your child’s development as a good diet and regular exercise.
An overtired child releases a stress hormone called cortisol, which can make it more difficult for your child to fall asleep. If your child seems to have difficulty falling asleep, move up his or her bedtime up by 30 minutes.
2. Start a Night Routine
Summer is a great time to begin a bedtime schedule. While your child’s sleep routine will vary based on what works for your family, this is what a typical routine could look like for school-aged children:
- A light snack
- An evening bath
- Brushing teeth
- Reading a story
- Lying down to sleep in a darkened room at the same time every night
3. Wake up time is just as important as bedtime.
While the best bedtime routine includes your child going to bed at the same time every night, it also involves getting out of bed at the same time during the summer as he or she gets up during the rest of the year. Doing so will make the transition from vacation to school seamless. So, urge your kids to play outside or read near a well-lit light when the alarm goes off. Exposure to bright sunlight early in the day can help regulate one’s circadian rhythm.
4. Set up a tranquil sleep environment without distractions.
A dark, quiet and cool bedroom free from distractions is best for sleeping. Your child should be allowed a comfort item in bed, such a favorite stuffed toy, but it is important to avoid items like a cell phone, loud music toys or other electronic devices.
5. Find the right bedding.
During the hot summer months, it’s important to keep kids cool while sleeping. Sheets made of flannel or fleece and down comforters can warm up their little bodies making it difficult to rest. The type of bedding you use affects the body’s temperature throughout the night, so linen materials are considered best for the summer. There are also a variety of pillows and mattresses that affect temperature as well.
Also, allowing your kids to choose new bedding for summer can get them excited about their bed and bed time routine. Let them help make the bed and teach them about mattress maintenance.
6. Maintain healthy nutrition year-around.
Summer is filled with picnics, barbecues and unhealthy treats, so watching your child’s diet can actually help him or her sleep better. Chocolate, sodas, coffee-flavored drinks or ice cream and some sports drinks contain caffeine — all of which will prevent your child from falling asleep.
Trust us, you’ll be thankful for setting up a predictable schedule come August when school bells start ringing again. Until then, create structure this summer and enjoy your summer vacation!
About The Author
The Daily Dozers The Daily Dozers are the mattress experts behind The Daily Doze, pooling their knowledge to bring you all that you need to know about what’s right under your head (literally). The Daily Dozers are team members who have been embedded in the mattress industry for years, whether that’s at one of our thousands of neighborhood stores, or in our hometown of Houston at BedQuarters. These product experts can answer any question you might have about your bed. From ‘what size mattress do I need for my room?’ to ‘how do I know if I need an adjustable base?’ – there’s no topic too tired for The Daily Dozers. Even better? The Daily Dozers work together with The Savvy Savers to make sure you’re getting the bed you want, at a price you can’t find anywhere else.