Last week, we posted about getting a child settled into a schedule for the school year. Today, we are taking a closer look at one particular part of their schedule – bedtime.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends school-aged kids get between 9 and 11 hours of sleep each night. This means that children need to sleep between 9 and 11 hours, not just be in bed for that amount of time. If your child has a difficult time falling asleep, make sure they are in bed early enough to get the recommended hours.
We all know, poor sleep patterns will affect every aspect of their lives. Children need adequate rest to grow physically and mentally. As a parent, it is essential for you to prioritize sleep.
Try not to have activities interfere with a child’s bedtime. This is difficult if you have multiple children and your older child has later activities than the younger child. Try to avoid late-night trips to the store when your child should be in bed. Even though you may be a “night” person, try not to have your habits affect your child. Your child doesn’t get to pick what time school starts. They have to be rested and ready to go early each morning whether you struggle waking up or not.
Building a routine
It’s never too early to start a bedtime task list as well. It’s a good idea for this list, or routine, to be as simple as possible. A long, complicated routine or process will seem stressful on those nights when activities run late.
In the early evening, have your child prepare for the next day. Their task list should include such items as preparing their lunch, packing their backpack, filling their water bottle, and picking out their clothes.
Some parents continue the routine by allowing their children to have screen time before bed. Current studies show this may not be a good idea. The blue light that emanates from our TVs and computers can affect our sleep patterns. Instead, consider spending the two hours before bed with quiet puzzles, reading, or coloring.
After this time of playing quietly, have your child complete their hygiene routine (taking a bath, brushing his teeth, and flossing), and then read to your child each night. After that, turn off the light until the room is completely dark and have your child go to sleep.
Getting to sleep
As far as helping your child fall asleep, you might consider avoiding sleep aids when they were toddlers. Some parents use sound machines, soft music, night lights, or fans to help their children fall asleep. By avoiding these, you help your children be able to sleep in any condition, because they never had to rely on a crutch to get to sleep.
Help your children get to bed early. Healthy sleep patterns will help your child be successful at school. Let us help as well! Stay tuned for our new product, a magnetic task list.
Check out our new downloadable task list to get started.