Tips to help children sleep over Summer
Keep some consistency to their sleep routine
Over the holidays we appreciate there are barbeques and other evening activities so it’s not a time to be stringent with your child’s sleep schedule. However, going to bed or waking at roughly the same time each day are two of the most important things you can do for your child’s health and development.
A few weeks out from the beginning of school again, make the gradual shift to a normal term time sleep/wake schedule. This will help them adjust to a new year of school.
Make sure they get enough sleep
Toddlers and early primary aged children need more sleep than say, teenagers. Pre-schoolers need 10 hours, school children need 9 hours and teens need about 8 hours each night.
But we all benefit from a good night’s sleep. Sleep plays an important part in combating obesity, depression and looking after our immune system.
Take screens away
Make sure everyone in the family is familiar with the rules around devices close to bedtime. Screen time too close to bedtime will only stimulate those growing minds, so have them reach for a book instead. It will help relax and prepare their bodies and minds for sleep time.
Get the room right
Is there too much light coming into their bedroom? Have you plugged in a mosquito zapper? Is there sufficient circulation in the room (fan or open a high, small window)? Does your child’s pillow give their neck good support? Your bed makes up 70% the total support of your body and the pillow 30%, don’t underestimate the pillow!
If you can tick these things off the checklist it will improve their chances of a comfortable night’s sleep.
Sleeping away from home
If you’re camping or sleeping in an unfamiliar place cool their body temperature down with a lukewarm shower before bedtime. Alternatively, apply a cool face cloth to the forehead and neck. Another great trick is running cold water over the veins in your wrists. Try it – it really works!
We all know how frustrating it is when you want to sleep but it’s just too damn hot! 100% cotton or linen clothing is important too as manmade fibres such as polyester don’t allow the body to breathe.
Exercise is an integral part of anyone’s sleep pattern. As well as encouraging sleep, exercise reduces stress and relaxes the body.
The trick is to not exercise too close to bedtime. This is a time for slowing down, not to start something fun – leave that for the morning!