School is just around the corner, which means relaxed summer time schedules are coming to an end. Here are 5 Back to School sleep tips to get your child back into a good sleep routine and schedule for school.
Sleep is so important for developing mind and body of a child and the amount of sleep they get impacts their growth, learning and problem solving skills. A child who isn’t getting enough sleep isn’t able to concentrate or recall important information as well as a rested child. The Canadian Paediatrics Society recommends that school aged children should be getting about 10-12 hours of sleep per day.
Gradually Shift Their Schedule
Bedtimes and wake times often become later during the summer, which makes getting up bright and early on the first day of school challenging. Gradually shift their bedtime and wake time several days before the start of school to give their biological clock time to adjust without losing out on sleep.
Cut Back on Caffeine and Sugary Treats
Summertime often means more treats, but there is enough caffeine in chocolate and pop to keep your child awake past their bedtime. Eliminate caffeine after lunch to avoid difficulty falling asleep at bedtime, and limit the sugar to help them settle easily.
Avoid Electronics Before Bed
Keep all electronics out of your child’s bedroom to help them get the recommended amount of sleep. The blue light emitted from electronics, such as TVs, computers, tablets, or smartphones, suppresses the production of melatonin, which is the body’s natural sleep inducing hormone. Turn these devices off at least 1-2 hours before bed so that their bodies can start winding down before it’s time to sleep.
Get Back into a Bedtime Routine
With the beginning of a new school year, it’s a great time to re-evaluate your child’s bedtime routine and see if it needs updating. Don’t be afraid to add in new activities that are more age appropriate for your child, just ensure they are relaxing and not over stimulating your child before bed. If you’ve gotten away from a routine over the summer, get back into the habit of a wind-down ritual before bed. Dim the lights in your home and use blackout window covers to keep the evening light out.