Can you believe it? Summer is quickly coming to a close, which means the days of long nights and lazy mornings are nearing an end. There’s a way to help your kids adjust to their upcoming change of routine in a way that won’t shock the system. So much of their success in school and in all aspects of life revolves around their ability to get the adequate rest and sleep that their bodies desperately need.
The consequences of poor sleep aren’t minor. In fact, sleeping problems often start in childhood yet go undetected because parents sometimes don’t realize there is a problem, and teachers and coaches only see a problem child. No one is relating the child’s problems to sleep. Provide your child with the greatest chance of success by prioritizing the importance of sleep and when you see signs of a sleeping disorder, get the issue addressed immediately.
As you approach this new school year, commit to helping your child implement the following three strategies for the best rest possible:
- Ease into a consistent bedtime – Going from summer hours to school hours can be a bit abrupt for kids. Help the transition by easing into the school schedule. As you slowly work toward the desired bedtime, be consistent; this will naturally prepare the body for bed and decrease the amount of push back you might get from your kids. Consistency is the body’s best friend. In general, kids should get an average of 10 hours of sleep each night. The suggested amount varies by age, but that’s an average to use for creating a schedule based on when wake-up needs to occur.
- Create a routine – As stated above, consistency is so important for our bodies. We are naturally creatures of habit; so, establishing a healthy routine each night that promotes relaxation will be key to quality rest. Help your kids create a list of items they need to accomplish to be prepared for bed that they follow each and every night. Incorporate things that they enjoy and that are simultaneously relaxing like, reading, talks with a parent, etc. This routine combined with a consistent bedtime will increase your child’s ability to have a successful night’s rest.
- Eliminate environmental distractions – Some of the greatest distractions to a good night’s rest are also some of the hardest to eliminate. Exposure to electronic devices can significantly impair one’s ability to “shut down” and be ready for quality sleep. The National Sleep Foundation has addressed this specifically, “The truth is, using electronic devices before bedtime can be physiologically and psychologically stimulating in ways that can adversely affect your sleep… TVs, tablets, smartphones, laptops, or other electronic devices before bed delays your body’s internal clock (a.k.a., your circadian rhythm), suppresses the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, and makes it more difficult to fall asleep.” In addition to eliminating electronics before bedtime, make sure the room is set at a comfortable temperature – cooler is better – and that the bedding isn’t obstructing your child’s ability to sleep comfortably.
Sleep is crucial to your child’s health and the success of their experience at school. Make sure you help them achieve the best sleep they can and start it before school begins!
If you have any questions or concerns regarding their sleep habits, be sure to contact us at https://www.tmjcentrent.com/.