Holidays are a time of great fun for kids, when looser schedules can translate to looser rules around the house, and things like bedtimes are more negotiable. What’s tough on the whole family is readjusting to the school routine of early bedtimes and early mornings.
To help transition smoothly from hectic holidays and into a new year, we laid out nine tips for getting your family back on school-year sleep schedules:
- Start getting into the groove of the new sleep schedule as early as possible before school starts again, so your family is prepared for the first day back school. This may mean an early bed time.
- The key to waking up on time is to go to bed on time. The National Sleep Foundation recommend the following guidelines for amounts of sleep based on age:
- Have your child turn off their electronics at least one hour before bedtime. To reduce temptations, remove electronics from the room when you put your kids down for bed (read more about the effects of electronics on sleep here).
- Use only the bed for sleeping, not other activities such as studying or reading. Try having your child read in another place, such as a bean bag chair. This makes the bed a relaxing sleeping environment.
- Try to eliminate caffeine from your child’s diet. If it is necessary, limit the caffeinated foods to before lunchtime.
- Set clear and consistent expectations for what time the lights must be out. If you give into a child’s demands for “more stories” or “more playtime”, it will be harder to refuse next time you try to put them to bed.
- Meal times have an impact on sleeping times. To more closely mimic conditions during the school year, have your children eat meals the same time they would when school starts back up.
- Make sure that the room is dark and cool to help create a comfortable sleeping environment.
- Set a back-to-school sleep routine for yourself. Kids will be more likely to follow suit if the changes in sleep are family-wide.
Switching out of the holiday and vacation mentality and into the hustle-and-bustle of the school year is difficult. Get ready now with these easy 9 tips for a smooth transition back into the school routine!
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