The first morning of school will be here before you know it. That means getting up early, eating a healthy breakfast, packing lunches, and all the other things that go into your morning routine. But before you can focus on the morning, it’s important to address your nights. Here are some tips for getting your kids back into a good sleep routine.
Get Some Exercise
There are many benefits to getting some exercise in during your kids’ day. For one, it gets them up and moving and away from screens. It also helps relieve stress and promote sleep. It’s important, though, not to exercise too close to bedtime, which can actually have the opposite effect.
Eliminate or Limit Naps
If your kids have gotten used to taking a nap in the afternoon during the summer, it may be time to stop that habit. Napping can interfere with nighttime sleep. Not to mention, they won’t have that luxury once school starts back. If your kiddo absolutely needs a nap, try to keep it to 30 minutes or less.
As bedtime approaches, try some activities to help your kids relax. Get them to take a warm bath or shower and brush their teeth. Read together, or encourage them to read, write, or listen to music quietly in their room.
Make it Dark and Cool
The best sleeping environment for kids is a room that’s dark, cool, and quiet. Make sure their blankets aren’t too heavy. Turn on a fan if needed. If much light comes in through their window, consider hanging some blackout shades or curtains. Avoid any noisy activities (like vacuuming) once the kids have gone to bed. If their rooms are near common areas, a noise machine can help create a soothing sound and mask any distracting noises coming from the rest of the house.
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Avoid Blue Light
Exposure to blue light (i.e. cell phones, TVs, computers, and video games) is known to cause poor sleep quality. So avoid letting your child use any screens for at least the last hour of the day.
Most importantly, take it one day at a time. Start by shifting their bedtime and wake time by just 15 minutes. Increase it each day until you’re back on a regular schedule. A good night’s sleep leads to a great morning. We hope you and your family have a lot of those this school year!