Many kids in this area are going to back to school after Labor Day, so I wanted to share some back-to-school sleep tips for kids to hopefully create brighter mornings when school starts.
From my work the past three and a half years with Serta, I have had the opportunity to experience firsthand the difference a good night’s sleep makes when sleeping on a quality, supportive mattress like the iComfort. Serta’s Perfect Sleeper mattress is the official mattress of the National Sleep Foundation – a great resource site for all sleep topics.
Getting enough sleep is essential for a child’s health and well-being, especially during the school year so they can be alert and able to learn.
Summer inevitably brings later bedtimes for the kiddos. With lighter, later nights, fun activities and vacations, parents tend to relax a little on bedtime, especially if they can sleep in the next morning.
But when summer vacation comes to an end, it’s often a rude wake up call for kids to wake up early.
Here are some of my personal tips I have learned through my 8 years of parenting combined with expert advice on back-to-school sleep tips for kids from the National Sleep Foundation.
1. Determine The Ideal Hours of Sleep for Your Child
The National Sleep Foundation recommends children 5 – 12 get 10 to 11 hours of sleep/night. Click here for recommended sleep for children birth through 12 if anyone is interested in recommended hours of sleep for preschoolers.
In the weeks prior to school starting, mentally note what time they go to bed, what time they wake up naturally, and how it corresponds to their mood. Does 9 hours mean lots of yawns or crabby behavior the next day? If they get 10.5 or 11 do they seem well rested? From your observations, determine what you feel is their healthy number of hours of sleep.
2. Determine Your Ideal “Asleep” Time for Each Child
Once you have the number of hours needed, think about what time they have to wake up on school days and back up the ideal hours to see what time they should be asleep by each night.
For example, my 5-year-old does best on 11 hours sleep. When kindergarten starts, she will have to be awake at 7am, so I will aim to have her asleep by 8:00pm each night.
3. Set Your School Year Bedtime
Think about how long your typical bedtime routine lasts and how long on average it takes your child to fall asleep.
For example, I read two books to my daughter in bed and then we snuggle and do prayer (usually about 10 minutes), then it usually takes her about 10 minutes to actually fall asleep on her own. Therefore, her bedtime should be ideally between 7:30 – 7:40pm to have her asleep by 8:00pm.
4. Move Up Your Bedtime Gradually Before School Starts
If you child’s summer bedtime has been later than the school year bedtime should be, gradually move up bedtime each night until they have a good handful of nights going to bed at their school year bedtime before school starts.
5. Keep Your Bedtime Regular – Even on Weekends
My kids tend to do better all around with a regular bedtime throughout the entire week. Weekends can be challenging in this respect, but try your best to try to keep your kids on a regular bedtime even on the weekends to keep their sleep routine regular.
More Back-to-School Sleep Tips for Kids
The National Sleep Foundation also offers these additional back-to-school sleep tips:
~ Before bedtime, start a “quiet time” to allow your child to unwind including relaxing activities such as a bath, story, or reading for older kids.
~ Limit TV, video games, and other electronics before bedtime.
~ Avoid big meals close to bedtime.
~ Avoid caffeine after 12pm or at least six hours prior to bedtime.
~ Maintain a peaceful sleeping environment – dark, comfortable bed, room temperature not too hot or cold.
~ Electronics should be removed from child’s bedroom and set in different location.
~ Be a role model of healthy sleep for yourself.
Do you have any advice on back-to-school sleep tips for kids? Please share in the comments below!