With children heading back to school after the long summer break, it's important to help them get back into a sleeping schedule to ensure they are well rested and prepared for the day ahead. As a bonus, more sleep for the children generally means more sleep for parents too.
Our sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, offers her top tips to make sure your children get the sleep they need:
In the lead up to the new term, start introducing technology-free time in the evenings - ideally 60-90min before bed. Bedrooms should be technology free (including TVs).
Gradually reintroduce earlier bedtimes - for pre-teens getting them into bed by 8.30pm, for teens (a tough one) ideally in bed by 9pm so there's no late night TV watching.
Children should have a calming pre-sleep routine - reading, relaxing bath, milky drink, avoiding over-stimulating TV or computer games.
Talk to your child about any anxieties or worries about going back to school, encourage yoga or meditation (repeating a calming word or breathing deeply from the belly).
Bedrooms need to be sleep friendly - keep them cool, use aromatherapy oils (e.g. lavender) or maybe even a new duvet and blackout blind to make the room feel calm and relaxing.
Make sure they are getting exercise during the day to encourage good sleep.
Encourage good nutritional habits - cut back on sugars and stimulating drinks, lots of water to keep well hydrated.