How to ensure your kids get a good night’s sleep
It’s almost time for your young ones to head back to school. While this is a relief for many parents and students, some kids struggle with the stress and anxiety of heading back to the classroom. In turn, this can hinder their ability to get a good night’s sleep and prepare for the next day.
A frequent lack of sleep can affect your child’s ability to focus while studying, and also throw their coordination and metabolism off balance. Here are our best tips to help your kids ease back into school through the power of sleep.
Work out your child’s individual sleep needs
As both you and your child may have been spending lots of time at home together over summer, you’ve do doubt become more aware of how much they sleep, and in turn how they behave on different amounts of it.
Though research shows that kids of all ages require an average of 9-11 hours of sleep each night, no two sleep patterns are the same. Some kids naturally wake up earlier on any amount of sleep, so it’s important that you allow them enough time to get settled the night before.
Set a consistent routine
It’s important that children have routines so they have an expectation of what happens the next day, especially for younger kids. Designating specific times for daily activities, such as dinner, teeth brushing and bedtime reading, is a great way to indicate to your child that bedtime is next on the agenda.
Ensuring your child knows when bedtime occurs may ease their stress and anxieties about what comes next, and may help their bodies relax before heading off to bed.
Whatever routine you set in place, try to ensure that it's around the same time each night – especially on school nights. On weekends, you can afford to be a little more flexible, particularly with older children who have established sleep patterns.
Turn off screens before bed
Though television and smart devices have been a great distraction and learning tool for kids during the holidays, it’s important that you introduce limits before they head back to the classroom, especially if they're using technology as part of their education.
Sleep specialists suggest that your child switches their phones and other light emitting devices off at 1-2 hours before heading to bed to allow their melatonin levels to return to normal. The blue light levels emitted from these devices can reduce melatonin levels and their effectiveness, and may keep your child up for hours longer than they intended.
Teach them about sleep
Much like schoolwork, sleep is a skill and technique that kids need to learn; it doesn’t come naturally for all of them. Taking the time to teach your kids about sleep and its amazing benefits may help them look forward to jumping in bed and nodding off for the new day. As important as sleep is for kids, they won’t enjoy it if they see it as a chore.
Here are some fun sleep tips you can share with your kids are:
Sleep makes you happy.
Sleep has detoxifying effects that help with brain development and promote emotional and mental health.
Sleep makes you stronger.
Sleeping results in the release of the growth hormone that encourages development, and assists in the restoring of energy and muscle after exercise.
Sleep makes you smarter.
Sleep aids brain function and concentration. This means kids are better able to process and make sense of what they’re learning at school and experiencing daily.