As a Mom, I can tell you how important sleep is for my wellbeing and how much more time I would like to sleep every morning. My kids on the other hand, aren’t as convinced about the benefits of sleep and in the summertime –who can blame them!
Longer daylight hours mean more relaxed evenings in our home. We stay outside a little longer, staying up a little later. It’s such a great time to spend as a family, enjoying the outdoors and catching up with friends and neighbours. As summer moves on and the long hot evenings of July give way to the cooler evenings of August, I start to panic when it’s 8:00pm and I notice that my children are still outside playing catch with their Dad. If you are anything like our family, the rules tend to slip in the summertime and we aren’t as fussy about bedtime routines and sleep schedules. As summer slowly slips away, I am reminded of the importance of sleep for my kids’ wellbeing and development and I know it’s time to ease them back into a sleep schedule.
Sleep has so many benefits for children’s development. It promotes growth, helps with their immunity, helps reduce injury, and can help keep them focused and attentive during the school day so they are engaged and ready to learn.
Getting them back on track for September is easy if you’re committed! Experts agree that it’s better to start early so you have time to adjust their bedtime gradually. It’s recommended to move their bedtime up by 15 minutes every couple of days until you reach the desired bedtime. It’s key to remember to move up their bedtime routine as well. Bathing, reading and cuddling should be adjusted to ensure you meet your new time for light’s out. Avoid stimulation before bedtime and limit television and video games, caffeine and sugar, in the hours approaching light’s out. An organized bedroom with toys put away can help create a calm environment for sleep with fewer distractions. Keep bedroom temperatures cooler and for older kids remove all electronics from the room. It can be a challenge when the sound of older kids playing keeps your child up and fighting to be out playing too. A fan, or a white –noise machine with sound settings of rain falling gently, ocean waves, or even a campfire can help provide a soothing soundscape for your child.
Sleep, along with exercise and healthy eating, provides the foundation for all of our good health. It is important for all of our wellbeing, but particularly our children whose development depends on it. Enjoy the last few weeks of our precious summer and sleep easy knowing that you’ll be back on track for September!
Be Happy, Sleep Well, BHealthy
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