There are several factors that make getting a good night’s sleep difficult for children, such as more sunlight. A recent article on GastonGazette.com shared seven tips to help get your children better sleep this summer:
- Get rid of the light – Longer days means more trouble with children who wake up early and refuse to go to bed at night. Since sunlight regulates your sleep cycle, it’s important you control a child’s exposure to it.
- Temperature control – If a child is too hot, sleep can be disrupted. Try to keep the room at an even 64 to 72 degrees.
- Keep them hydrated – With summertime activities and additional heat, children tend to sweat more than usual. Dehydration can actually interfere with melatonin production, so be sure to keep them hydrated during the day.
- Keep outside noise to a minimum – With sound of birds chirping and older children still outside playing, these outside noises can make getting a little one to sleep difficult. Create white noise in their room by using a white noise machine or letting a fan or purifier run to drown out the extra sound.
- Manage allergens – Summer’s biggest allergens are pollen caused by grasses and weeds. Dust mites can also harbor in children’s beds during the warm summer months. Bathing children more frequently to remove pollens from hair and skin can cut back on outdoor allergens from coming to bed. Changing children’s sheets frequently and protecting their beds with mattress encasements, like the ones from Protect-A-Bed, will help reduce dust mites.
- Stick to schedules – Although the extra hours of daylight can be tempting to spend more time with children, ensuring that they’re getting the recommended amount of sleep is vital. Bedtimes can be a little flexible, but if they seem to not be adjusting well to these changes, offering an earlier bedtime should help.
- BONUS: A breakdown by age of the recommended hours of sleep a child should get each night can be found at SleepFoundation.org.
Outdoor exercise – Ensuring children get as much outdoor activity as possible during the day will help guarantee that they will sleep soundly at night. Exposure to sunlight primes the body for melatonin production when one enters a darker environment.