Is your kids’ sleep schedule out of whack? Get them back into a routine with a consistent sleep hygiene regimen.
The rocky first days of school are behind us; however, your kids still might be having issues getting enough quality sleep.
School-aged kids, ages 6 – 13, need around 10 hours of undisturbed sleep each night to feel rested in the morning.
If your child has been struggling with their sleep lately, the good news is that you can work to get everything back on track by using straightforward sleep hygiene practices.
What is Sleep Hygiene?
The term itself sounds like it should have to do with cleanliness than anything else, but sleep hygiene is actually about the steps you take to prepare for bed.
For your child, this means a few simple adjustments to help get their sleep routine back to normal.
Stick to a Consistent Bedtime
You may have problems getting your child to sleep if they have had a few late nights or slept late.
It’s essential to have a consistent time for bed and for waking up. If sleep schedules are out of whack, try to gradually reset your child’s bedtime by putting them to bed 15 minutes earlier every three days. Continue with this tactic until your child’s sleep is where it should be.
It’s also easy to allow your child to sleep in on weekends, perhaps when you’re off work – bad idea!
Our bodies need a healthy routine, and that’s even more so for children.
Head Outside and Soak up Some Natural Light
You might think that mother nature is nothing more than fields, beaches, and mountains, but she’s pretty good at helping us health-wise, too.
It’s a great idea to ensure that your little juniors get plenty of sunshine and fresh air. Natural daylight is perfect for setting their internal clock, helping them wind down as day turns to night.
No to Digital Devices
Don’t let your child use their tablet or phone during the last few hours before bed.
The blue light that these types of devices emit suppresses the production of a sleep hormone called melatonin, which your little ones need to feel sleepy.
Ambient Temperature, Lighting & Sound
An excellent way to encourage sleep and help prepare your mini-me for bed is to make the room dim and cool. Try blocking our noise by turning on a fan. By doing this, you’re preparing your child for bed by adjusting their environment.
If your child struggles to wind down and refuses to go to bed, try a warm bath just before bed. You could also try sitting with them and reading them a story, especially if they’re prone to crying when you leave the room.
Make sure pajamas aren’t too tight, too warm, or not warm enough. Being comfortable is vital, and if your kids aren’t comfortable, they’ll have a hard time falling asleep.
By following these straightforward sleep hygiene practices, you’ll find that your child’s sleep routine gradually recovers.
It might take a couple of weeks, so don’t expect everything to fall into place straight away; however, with a little perseverance, everything should go back to where it was before.
If your child’s sleeplessness persists, give the office a call at (352) 527-6888. Our established patients can click here to schedule a telemedicine appointment.