September is here and for many parents, this means the summer holidays are over, and it’s time for the children to head back to school.
In the midst of buying new school uniforms, school bags and stationery, settling your little one back into a healthy sleep routine shouldn’t be overlooked.
Sleep is vital for growing children – their development and general well being depends on it. Encouraging a routine sleep pattern can be the difference between a productive day at school, or a tired and unenergised one.
Prepare for their exciting new beginning at school in the best way you can. If you’re struggling to settle children into a school routine after a summer of late nights and long lie-ins, read on for our tips and expert advice.
Ways to keep a regular sleep routine for kids
As much as they might fight it, going to bed at the same time every day only benefits the weekly routine. Not only does this ensure that children are getting enough sleep, it also keeps circadian rhythms regulated.
Encourage regular exercise and outdoor play
Allowing children to let off steam outside before going to sleep works wonders when it comes to bedtime. Silentnight’s resident sleep therapist, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan says that physical movement produces the chemical ‘adenosine’ which promotes sleepiness. Whether it’s riding a bike, playing in the garden, or even trampolining, regular movement is known to promote sleepiness when it’s time for lights-out.
Cut down on fizzy drinks
Caffeinated fizzy drinks might be a treat during the summer holidays, but when it comes to the school routine, the stimulant ingredient in caffeine can damage children’s sleep patterns. Try swapping the fizzy drinks to milk. Tryptophan, found in milk, has been proven to increase children’s sleepiness – not to mention the excellent benefits of calcium to their growth and development.
Reduce screen time
If your child has access to an electronic device before bedtime, the blue light can affect their ability to fall into a deep sleep. Dr Nerina Ramlakhan found that 25 percent of children were experiencing sleep problems due to using technology at night.
In addition to our long-term solutions, try these simple tips to help improve your child’s sleep pattern.
- If your children have already gone back to school, there’s still time to adjust the sleeping schedule.
- Introduce a relaxing bath routine, including a bedtime story to help children wind down from the day.
- Create a sleeping environment that is dark, quiet and comfortable.
Will you be giving these school routine tips a go? Get in touch on our social media pages and let us know.