Setting a Good Back-to-School Bedtime Routine
With the summer winding down and many schools already beginning to reopen, it’s time for parents to start putting away the swim towels and buy school supplies as they prepare for the back-to-school season. An easily-overlooked part of that preparation is sleep training. After months of cookouts, vacations and inconsistent bedtime routines, it’s no wonder that making the transition back to the classroom can be a tricky one.
To help your family get back into the groove, consider a handful of simple tips:
Easy Ways to Establish a Good Back-to-School Bedtime Routine
Ensure their room is a Healthy Sleep Zone.
One of the best things you can do to promote quality rest for your kids is to keep their room clean and distraction-free. Using high-quality mattress and pillow protectors will prevent allergens, dust mites and other irritants from gathering. That’s especially true as we approach another fall allergy season. In addition, lowering the thermostat and blocking out external lights and sounds will go a long way.
Don’t expect your kids to just flip the switch when it comes to introducing a different bedtime routine. As the first day of school approaches, it’s important to adjust their bedtime by 30 minutes or an hour over the course of a week – or two. That way, the adjustment won’t be such a drastic change to their system.
Consistency is equally as important as the gradual transition, especially for younger children. So when setting (or resetting) their school time routine, it’s best to stick to the same system.
Power down the electronics.
Numerous studies, including one from the National Sleep Foundation, have linked the use of electronics to a poor night’s sleep – especially for children. So as bedtime approaches, make sure your kids shut off the phones, tablets and TV’s; ideally, this is done an hour (or more) before lights out.
Keep an eye on their diet.
While the prevalence of snacking is far less common during the school year, it’s still important to be aware of what your kids are eating and drinking in the hours leading up to bedtime. Drinks with caffeine and/or foods with high sugar and carbohydrates will promote energy, not rest. Here are some examples of foods to avoid.
By following these tips, your kids’ transition to a back-to-school bedtime routine will be a smooth one. Best of luck!