As a Children’s Mercy Mom’s Ambassador I was compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.
Personally, my family basically keeps the same routine through summer as we do for school time. Sure when we are on vacation we have later bed times and when there are special events happening, but the normal day to day of summer, our bedtime is the same time as during the school year. Some people give us flack about putting our kids to bed at 8pm during the summer, but kids need sleep regardless of the season.
While adults need 7-9 hours of sleep at night, children need much more, so here are some tips to help you help your children be successful with sleep.
- Start a routine and keep it. Even on the weekend and holidays, your body will appreciate the consistency and will know just what you are expecting it to do. We start putting our kids to bed at 7:30pm. We read scriptures together, have a family prayer, the kids brush their teeth, get a drink and then get snuggled into bed. After hugs and kisses, we talk about what they want for lunch at the school the next day and then say goodnight and close the door. Each night it’s the same. They know what will happen and so do their bodies.
- Get exercise in during the day. When my kids get home they do their homework, read and practice the piano. After that I want them to get some energy out so they head outside to play and ride bikes. Using up some built up energy will get them starting to feel tired and ready when bedtime rolls around.
- Avoid too much stimulation close to bedtime. Avoiding sugary foods or drinks. A healthy snack would be appropriate. We also try to quit screen time as bedtime approaches to help calm their minds. A warm bath would be a calming influence, too.
- Keep your bed as a place where you only sleep. If we use our bed as a couch for watching TV, a table to work on, a place where we play or read, we may be conditioning our bodies to expect activities in our bed. Instead, do those activities in a different place so your body knows when it gets in bed, it’s time to sleep.
A good night’s sleep is vital to have happy children with rested minds ready to learn in the classroom. Sleep helps their muscles and bones grow. It restores energy, builds the immune system and helps their brains be able to sort and store information. If you find that your children have a hard time sleeping no matter what you do, perhaps a sleep study would help from Children’s Mercy Sleep Disorder Clinic.
What other tips do you have for establishing a sleep routine and getting better sleep?