3 Tips for Establishing Healthy Sleep Patterns
Sleep is as essential to cognitive function and academic performance in kids as it is in adult brains. It’s essential to make sure your child is getting enough sleep. A sleep schedule is best established at night, so it’s a good idea to start cutting down on evening screen time an hour or two before bedtime. Avoid caffeine after lunch and dinner for a few days to allow circadian patterns to recalibrate and avoid sugar-filled snacks that can disrupt concentration later.
Encourage outdoor play during the day with natural light exposure. Stop the use of electronics outside besides for children 15 years of age. It can negatively affect healthy mental development in the young.
Start Putting Kids to Bed Earlier in Advance
The proper bedtime for waking up early for school will vary depending on the children’s ages and morning routines but consistency will remain key no matter what.
Planning some morning activities on the days before school starts can help motivate kids to go to bed earlier knowing that they’ll have to wake up earlier can be a great way to establish a routine. These can also be fun activities too, such as going to the beach, waterpark, or other summer activities before they have to go back to school.
Gradually Move Bedtime
This process worked on my kids. Two years ago, during vacation, they got used to sleeping very late at night, so I had to do something to reset their sleep habits by gradually putting them to bed earlier.
A month before classes start, I put them to bed at 10 pm for a week. The week after that, at 9 pm. Then, the week after at 8 pm. The last adjustment was to 7:30 pm. This week-long interval is not easy, though. The kids cried a lot, but I made a strong stance on sleep time. Eventually, they were able to sleep early again, just in time for the school season.
Make Changes Well in Advance
It’s best to start working toward bedtime early so that you can adjust the schedule by just 15 minutes a day until you hit your desired bedtime. Doing this helps make sure they fall asleep instead of lying awake, or worse, getting out of bed when they should be sleeping.
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