Summer is coming to an end and school bells are ringing in a new year. That means getting your kids off of their summer sleep schedules and awake for their 8:00 a.m. class. Of course, anyone who has children knows this is easier said than done. Transitioning kids from their leisurely summer schedule to a school schedule can be tricky. Here are a few tips to help ease the transition from summer sleep-ins to school wake-up calls.
1. Sleep Schedule Transition
Slowly transition your kids into going to bed and waking up earlier. About two weeks before school starts, send your kids to bed a few minutes earlier each night. Then wake them up 10-15 minutes earlier each day to help them ease into the new schedule.
2. Don’t Bank on the Weekends
Like adults, children are unable to “make up” for lost sleep on the weekends. Make sure your child is getting the adequate amount of sleep for their age. This will keep them fresh and ready to tackle the school year.
3. Darken the Room
If your child happens to be going to bed when it is still light out, make sure you have dark curtains to block out any sunlight. A dark room will tell your child’s body it is time to sleep, helping them fall asleep quicker.
4. Bed Time Routines
Develop a bedtime routine that helps your child know it is time for sleep. This routine could include getting in their PJs, setting out their school clothes, brushing their teeth or reading a book together. Once you have a set routine, do it every night to make the transition a little easier.
5. Power Down
TV, video games and iPhones can disrupt a child’s sleep pattern, keeping them awake late at night. It is believed that these types of activities not only “rev up” your brain, but the glow from technology can delay the release of melatonin in the body. To ensure your child can easily wind down and fall asleep, power down all technology at least 30 to 45 minutes before bed time.
6. Get Active
Send the kids outside and have them run around. Physical activity is a great way to burn off extra energy and tire your kids out. Grab your bikes or play a game of tag in the backyard. With enough activity, your kids might even put themselves to bed early!