|Photo by Alexandru Zdrobău on Unsplash|
Thankfully they all got up fine for their first morning back and I am determined to help them get back on track over the weekend. I assume there are other parents like me who didn't manage to get their kids back on track this last week so I thought it might be useful to share my tips for helping your child have a good nights sleep -
1. Check out your child's bed and mattress. I spent a night on Miss M's bed recently as she was poorly and had fallen asleep in my bed. I thought I'd be kind and leave her there for the night but boy did I regret it as her mattress is horrible, even though it is fairly new. You really are worth investing in a good mattress, so why not take a look at the beds from Bed Guru.
2. Keep sleep and wake times constant, even on the weekend. I've had to lay down the law with my 12-year-olds and tell them there is no more sitting quietly on the sofa and hoping to be forgotten, they need to be in bed by 9.30pm at the latest.
3. Establish a sleep preparation routine. It's not just babies and toddlers that need the clues that it is sleep time, all humans do, so establish a routine that suits your child of how they will get ready for bed. Miss M likes to use her face wash, clean her teeth and get in her PJ's and then have a small cup of warm milk whilst listening to music for 20 minutes or so in bed. Whereas Miss E likes to read or write in her journal as she relaxed in bed. I think that 20/30 minute wind down/ quiet period makes a massive difference.
4. Make sure their room is productive for sleep. A room that is cooler rather than hotter is better for sleep, as is a darker room, so invest in blackout blinds or curtains to help your child sleep better. Some children, even older ones still appreciate a night light, so check what works for your child.
5. Have a nighttime home for their screens. I insist on my kids having an old fashioned alarm clock as I don't want them having their phones or screens in their bedrooms overnight. All those pings or the screen flashing as a notification comes in is just too distracting and it is important that they are able to fully switch their brain off.
6. Ensure your child has a well-balanced diet. A well-nourished and hydrated child will be able to sleep better. So ensure they have a good variety of meals and have eaten enough in the day that they won't be hungry overnight.
7. Get them exercising regularly. Depending on the age of your child encourage them to partake in some exercise each day. Younger children will naturally be running around and probably getting enough exercise and fresh air but older children may need prompting to have a walk or go for a cycle/ skate. The NHS say that teenagers should aim for 60 minutes of exercise every day.
|Photo by 童 彤 on Unsplash|
8. Cut back on the caffeine. Your child might not be drinking coffee but they could still be getting a caffeine fix from cola, chocolate or even tea. So make sure that they limit these things in the few hours before they go to bed.
Every child is different but I aim for my 12-year-olds to have 9 hours a night sleep. One of them always appears to need more and the other could easily survive on 7 hours, but I figure she is best to be in bed relaxing, even if not asleep.
For my near 16-year-old it is 8 hours a night on a school night and on a weekend he could sleep for Britain but I try to encourage him not to do that too often as it could easily put his sleep rhythm out.
I hope you find my tips helpful and get back into a good routine again as this school year progresses.
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