If you’ve noticed an uptick in tantrums, handling a cranky child in the morning and noticing a dip in grades, it may be time to reset your child’s bedtime routine. Pediatricians will often reiterate the importance of sleep for growing kids. Getting back on track to a healthy sleep routine can seem a herculean task, but we’ve got some great tips to help make this important readjustment much easier.
Put devices away at least an hour before bed. Researchers have presented findings that blue light can cause disruption the body’s ability to produce melatonin, the hormone that helps us fall asleep. Set an alarm and explain to your children the importance of putting the screens away and why.
Don’t give in to tantrums or power struggles when it comes to bedtime routines. Keep in mind that sleep is absolutely vital for growing bodies and brains! The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following:
Preschoolers (age 3-5) require 10-13 hours of sleep
School-aged children (age 6-13) require 9-11 hours of sleep
Teens (age 14-17) require 8-10 hours of sleep
Young adults (age 18-25) require 7-9 hours of sleep
Children don’t get a choice when it comes to when they go to sleep. But you can offer choices to get their buy-in. Offer them choices on which pajamas they wear, which books to read and which songs to sing. This will make the routine more engaging and fun for them!
When making schedule adjustments for the new school year or after breaks, start shifting their bedtime slowly to let their bodies adjust more naturally. No need to shock their systems and start bedtime wars!
Bedtime routines should be just that, routine. Bath time, brush teeth, story time and a kiss goodnight. Stick to the same order of steps and make it a mellow affair. If you’re stressed out, kids will pick up on it and will have more difficulty falling asleep.