As the school year wraps up, parents are heading toward a new challenge that will shape the following months – their children’s sleeping schedule.
As they enter summer, their schedules become more open, and they get to enjoy days as they like. As a result, their consistent sleep tends to suffer.
Plus, summer comes with long hours that provide more opportunities for children and teens to spend time outdoors.
In fact, summer creates space for nighttime activities as well, which pushes people to spend time outside when they should be inside sleeping.
Summer sleep deprivation is a real thing that could potentially lead to more serious problems for children.
In some area cases, insufficient sleep can lead to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, both in kids and teens.
In fact, kids who tend to sleep badly have worse cardiometabolic health, while some may experience higher blood pressure, and lower levels of ‘good’ cholesterol in the blood.
Poor sleep can play a huge role in depressive symptoms and lead to learning and memory problems that children and adolescents can experience.
Luckily, your children don’t have to go through these things if you implement some simple rules and tips that can help your children have great summertime and great sleep.
Keep A Consistent Sleep Schedule
Our sleep needs change as we get older. We don’t need the same amount of sleep as we need as babies and grown adults.
The proper amount of sleep always varies from age to age, and the best way to know how much sleep you need is based on your age.
Make sure that you know how much sleep you need based on your age and try to follow the recommended amount as much as possible.
Children, teens, college students, adults, and seniors all have different sleeping needs, with children maintain later sleep and wake times, when they don’t have to go to school the next morning.
This trend is even more present in adolescents who naturally have later bedtimes and a battle of their own with responsibilities, body changes, and overall hormones affecting their lives.
For these reasons and many others, you should do your best to adjust your children’s sleep habits and schedules and to allow them to stay up later during the summer.
On the other hand, later bedtime should remain consistent from night to night. Moreover, their wake-up time should become later as well, to ensure they still get enough sleep.
Now, you may ask if a consistent bedtime routine is really that important? Simply said, yes. A regular bedtime routine can promote a consistent sleep schedule.
Talk to your children about their sleep routine, and discuss concrete action steps to implement together to enable good sleep.
Create a routine that is easy to follow and easy to implement. Some of the ideas that can be part of bedtime routine include:
- Changing into pajamas
- Brushing teeth
- Preparing the bed for sleep
- Dimming the lights
- Reading a bedtime story
- Having a glass of milk or tea that promotes sleep
- Gentle workout
Last but not least, make sure that they stop using devices during this time – no screening should be possible.
Every device, including tablets, smartphones, tablets, and even TVs emit blue light that can interfere with sleep.
Focus On Having Healthy Daytime Habits
Summer brings relaxation time and makes people feel lighter and happier than another period of the year.
Still, this doesn’t mean that good habits should just fade away or wait for another season to implement great habits.
If you really want your children to sleep well all year round, you should promote healthy daytime habits all day long.
Maintaining great habits is a great way to promote well-being and maintain good habits.
That being said, make sleeping rules that every family member should stick to – this way you are not forcing only children to have better habits, but you are leading by an example.
Promote better sleep by encouraging your children in physical play or daily exercise, next to sign better foods, offering a healthier diet, and promote drinking more water – staying hydrated is extremely important during summer days.
If you are trying to teach your children to drink more water then you can lead by example saying that you will cut on coffee intake and drink more water. A little leadership can do wonders for household peace.
Create The Best Sleeping Environment
A massive part of summertime sleep hygiene is creating the best possible sleeping conditions to fit the season.
Some people may sleep better than others during hor summer days – this may vary on where you actually live.
To keep sunshine from waking your child up too early in the morning, think about protecting your windows.
Think about investing in high-quality blackout curtains that can keep any light from coming in.
If you have troubles sleeping think about investing in an eye mask, to keep the light away – it’s perfectly safe for teenagers and students to use this mask as well.
What About Summer Family Vacations?
Summertime is a perfect period for a family vacation.
If you have a family vacation planned, or if you are sending kids away to grandparents or kids camp, make sure that travel won’t negatively disturb their sleep.
Let your children take their own pillows and blankets. Pack them a neck pillow as well, especially if you are traveling by plane.
Familiar objects can bring emotional comfort and make traveling more comfortable, safe, and more comfortable for sleeping.
If you are flying into a different time zone, there are clear steps that you can take to help them limit the effects of jet lag.
Here are some tips:
- Adjust their bedtime a few days before your flight
- Eat meals on new time zone’s schedule
- Force yourself and them to spend time outdoors during sunny hours
Prepare for Back-to-School
Sure, summer break comes with certain disruption, but it doesn’t mean that it stops the world from moving on. It’s just important to be prepared for any changes and to act upon them.
Summer break is mandatory for children to rest and recharge, as well as to spend more time with their family members and friends.
Once the summer break is on, you need to think about the time that will come eventually – going back to school and shifting sleeping schedules once again.
The Bottom Line
A negative sleeping schedule during summer break can impact the beginning of the next school year.
To avoid this, you need to be ahead of time and prepare for the new school year at least a week or two in advance.
If your children have been staying up and sleeping in later, every day, then you should begin adjusting their bedtimes gradually.
That way, you will be ready by the time the first day of school arrives – they shouldn’t have a problem falling asleep on time and they will be able to enjoy the first school day well-rested.