Back to school after the summer holidays
Reset your child’s sleep
Has your child’s sleep pattern shifted over the long summer break?
Are they falling asleep much later than their usual bedtime and waking much later in the morning, enjoying those long lazy summer days?
While this may be great for now, September is almost upon us. Does the thought of getting them up for school fill you with dread? Fear no longer, we have a great set of tips ready to help get your child’s sleep back on track ready for the new school term.
Follow our simple tips to ensure your child’s sleep is prepped and ready to go.
Gradually move bedtime earlier:
At least a week before the new school term, start to put your child to bed earlier by 15 minutes every day.
- At the same time wake them 15 minutes earlier every morning.
- To help suppress their melatonin get them into the light as soon as possible.
- Repeat this pattern until you reach the time that is right for your child’s school schedule.
- Your child should be falling asleep within 15 – 20 minutes.
Help them to feel sleepy:
An hour before bed we recommend:
- Start thinking about your child’s bedtime 1 hour before you want them to be asleep.
- Put the toys away and settle down for a cuddle, a snack and story on the sofa.
- ALL screens should be off 1 hour before sleep; this includes phones, tablets and computers as blue light can interfere with the production of melatonin.
- Lastly, in the hour before sleep don’t let your child have any caffeine or sugary food and drinks.
Their bedtime routine:
- Have a quiet and calm bedtime routine focused around the bedroom and bathroom area.
- Carry out the same series of steps every night so your child knows that sleep is coming. They will start to prepare for it as soon as you start the steps.
- The steps should include a warm relaxing bath lasting about 10 minutes; a pre-bed bath should not be a play time.
- Go straight from the bathroom into the bedroom – do not go back into the living area.
- Pre-dim the lights in the bedroom – this will help with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.
- Have 1 or 2 stories.
- Say goodnight and leave the bedroom; your child should be asleep about 15 minutes later.
Reset your child’s morning clock:
Being back at school means an early morning start again for many families. Morning is when we reset our body clock so it’s very important children are woken at the same time each day. A big dose of light will help to get your child up and running, so open the curtains straightaway. Light suppresses melatonin – the hormone that makes us feel sleepy.