After weeks of summer fun - cookouts, vacations and outdoor activities – it’s nearly time for your family to transition the kids back into school mode. But as many parents will attest, this adjustment can be extremely tough. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to get your kids into a “back-to-school” routine without too much kicking and screaming.
- Transition Gradually: Making the move to an earlier bedtime won’t happen overnight. It will take time to adjust your kid’s “internal body clock” for the start of classes. Plan to push their bedtime back in 15 to 20 minute increments over the course of a week so that it will be less of a shock to their system when the first day of school arrives.
- Plan Relaxing Bedtime Activities: Give your kids a chance to wind down before shutting off the lights. Whether that is 30 minutes of “quiet time,” or a bath and bedtime story, make sure you’re allotting some time for them to be in the right frame of mind for sleep.
- Stick to the Routine: Much like their weeks (or months) of potty training, your kid’s sleep schedule will benefit greatly from regularity. As you prepare them to “hit the hay” earlier, the routine should be the same every night. For example, if they brush their teeth, put on pajamas, and read a book in the hour leading up to bedtime – ensure that they adhere to this schedule during the transition phase and, if possible, throughout the school year.
- Create a Quality Sleep Environment: Cool temperatures, low light, along with comfortable mattresses and pillows, are important factors in making your kid’s bedroom a place that promotes solid rest. Just as important, though, is limiting allergens and irritants. Consider Protect-A-Bed’s AllerZip Mattress Encasement and line of pillow protectors to safeguard against dust mites and other allergens that could keep them awake at night.
- Limit Screen Time Before Bed: It’s been proven again and again that watching TV, using your computer, or swiping through your phone can disrupt your ability to fall asleep. But it’s even more damaging to adolescents. According to a recent study published in Reuters, teens “using any device in the hour before bed were associated with a 13 to 52 percent increase in the likelihood of needing more than 60 minutes to fall asleep.” So no matter their age, it’s important to keep your kid’s use of electronics to a minimum later in the evening.
Setting up these back-to-school bedtime routines will help your kids sleep easier as they make the move back to the classroom. Here’s to a good night’s sleep.