With the summer season being full of barbeques, late nights and days spent by the pool, you and your family may have fallen out of your usual school year habits including a consistent sleep schedule. Jeannie Pruitt, BSA Sleep Disorders Clinic Manager, has some tips and tricks for how you can get your kids back on a healthy sleep routine for the beginning of the school year.
Pruitt suggests that consistency is key when it comes to establishing a healthy, back-to-school sleep routine.
“Being consistent is important, especially with children,” Pruitt said. “If they go to bed before 9 p.m., they tend to fall asleep faster and sleep longer. I would set their bedtime to be anywhere from 8-8:30 p.m. every night to keep a consistent schedule.”
Pruitt suggests keeping your child’s room dark and cool to create a healthy sleep environment. She also advises to have your kids not participate in overly stimulating activities within an hour before bedtime.
“Nix the caffeine, electronic toys and computer and instead try doing things that are going to relax your child and calm them down about an hour before bed,” Jeannie adds.
The National Sleep Foundation also recommends that you avoid having bigger meals close to bed time in addition to avoiding caffeinated drinks and soda. Set a consistent time for dinner each night and limit after dinner snacks to fruit or air-popped popcorn, so children are not getting an extra sugar rush before bed.
Establishing new routines or re-introducing old ones may take some time, but being consistent with your children can help them ease into getting restful sleep this school year.
For more information, call the BSA Sleep Disorders Center at 806-212-0130.