The seven-week break is coming to an end. It was fun having the kids around; there were endless conversations, games, and visiting friends and family. Such activities might have affected their sleeping patterns. The kids slept late and woke when they could. With school reopening right around the corner, this is about to come to an end. Parents have a few days to get their children’s sleeping patterns back on track; the earlier the better.
Other than having an easy time waking up for school, sleep is vital to growth, immunity, learning, and memory. A good night’s sleep restores kids physically and helps them understand and remember things they learn at school. On average, children between the ages of five and thirteen need an average of nine to twelve hours of sleep per night. For school-going children, it is recommended that bedtimes should start from 7:30 to 10 PM.
The long break has wreaked havoc on the kids’ consistent daily routines and has got in the way of their accustomed bedtime routine. When you throw in an endless supply of sugar into the mix, nap times have become virtually impossible. It’s time to get your kids’ sleeping patterns back on track. Here are five tips to get you started.
Bring back the bedtime routine
The first step is to bring back the bedtime routine as fast as possible. Embrace yourself for resistance from the kids. The reintroduction of the bedtime routine might be interfering with their new routines. Involve the whole family in this first step as it involves planning for quiet evenings with no TV, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Bring back the comfy jammies, bedtime stories, and anything else that create a peaceful and enjoyable bedtime.
Reinstate early bedtime
After reintroducing the bedtime routine, it’s time to recover your kids’ sleep debt. Weeks of late bedtimes missed naps, and sugary snacks have overtired your children. Tired kids have a hard time sleeping. Hence you will encounter a lot of difficulties as you reintroduce early bedtime. During the first few days, put your kids to bed 30-60 minutes before the ideal bedtime. The extra sleep time will help pay back the sleep debt the kids gained during the long break.
On to the bedtime rules
The last part of reestablishing a bedtime routine is bringing back the bedtime rules. Here is where you put your foot down and try not to bend the rules. If bedtime during school days is 7 PM, the kids should be going to bed by 6:45. If you are not consistent, your kids will take a long time to get their sleeping patterns back on track.
Time to roll back on the junk food
Proper nutrition plays a significant role in the children’s ability to have a goodnight’s sleep. Avoid foods that contain caffeine; the most common source of caffeine for kids is chocolate. Reduce foods that trigger the production of cortisol, a stress hormone, that is all sugary foods. In short, junk foods will make it very hard for your kids to get the rest they need to be productive at school. So start cutting back on junk food as you reintroduce your regular school routines. A change in what the children eat will lead to better health behavior and high-quality and restful sleep.
Start the countdown to school resumption
Start a countdown seven days to when the schools reopen. Do not wait until the last night to inform your kids. Such surprises can induce anxiety in their little brains. They might have a hard time going to sleep because of the worries and thoughts of what the next school day will bring. A countdown will prepare the kids mentally and emotionally for what is to come when they go back to school.