Vacation plans, summer camps and activities, and the lack of a routine school schedule can wreak havoc on your child’s sleep during the summer recess. Not only do kids tend to be more physically active during the summer and therefore require more rest, but poor sleep habits are difficult to change and will cause problems when the new school year begins. Whether it’s small children looking to stay up late for backyard campfires or teens planning sleepovers, here are some tricks to help avoid a sleep-deprived summer:
Set a Routine
During most of the year, school creates a predictable and consistent sleep schedule. Kids have routine bedtime and morning wake ups that make it easy to regulate and monitor sleep. While this schedule is not realistic during summer, try establishing a modified routine that will provide boundaries while still allowing your child to enjoy summer activities. Bad habits are difficult to break; keeping summer routines within about an hour of the normal schedule is a good middle ground when it comes to maintaining enough sleep.
Preparing the Room for Rest
During seasonal peaks, it can remain light outdoors well past 9:00 PM. This is problematic, especially for young children who equate bedtime with nightfall. Since you can’t control the sun, prepare bedrooms with window-darkening blinds. Also, be sure to replace heavy blankets and linens with something more appropriate for warm weather. This, along with a quality mattress will help avoid restless children who struggle to fall asleep.
Prepare for Transition
Beginning about a month before school resumes, begin tightening down on your child’s routine. Start bedtime a little earlier every few days; do the same with morning wake-up as well. This gradual return will help maintain a healthy sleep rhythm.
Summer is a time for kids to unburden from the demands of school; it’s a time to get outside, enjoy the sun, and enjoy a much needed vacation. Just remember that sleep is an essential part of your child’s mental and physical health. For more ways to keep your family rested and happy all summer long, contact us. Have you struggled with summer sleep issues? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!