Posted by Sile on 8/24/2018 2:46:15 PM
As we approach the end of the summer holidays, after weeks of staying up late in the long bright evenings, many parents face the battle of getting a sleep routine established before children and teenagers go back to school.
Recommended New Sleep Times for School Children and Teenagers
It’s a well-known fact that sleep quality affects cognitive performance and child development, giving parents a strong incentive to make sure their children are arriving into school each day ready to learn and socialise having had their best night’s sleep.
With a multitude of distractions in modern family life and increased reports of tired, listless children in class, parents are left wondering how much sleep does a child actually need? The National Sleep Foundation has revised their recommendations to the following:
Pre-schoolers Aged 3-5 years: 10-13 hours
School Aged Children 6-13 years: 9-11 hours
Teenagers 14-17 years: 8-10 hours
Here are 3 top tips for establishing a back to school sleep routine
1. Start the transition a week early
In order to avoid an early wakeup shock on the first day back to school try bringing forward bedtime a week in advance, beginning with 15 minutes each night and gradually work towards your best time target. This will ensure an easier transition for all and will avoid your child having to play catch-up throughout the first few weeks of term.
2. Establish a bedtime routine
Depending on the age and interests of your child you can encourage a simple bedtime routine to help them get into the frame of mind for sleep and rest. Physical activity early in the evening will help calm children of all ages come bedtime. A relaxing bath, reading a book and practising short mindfulness exercises are great ways to induce calm and allow your child to unwind. Be aware that breaking this routine at weekends with late nights and lie ins can disrupt all the good work throughout the week.
3. Get your child’s bedroom sleep ready
Sleep experts agree that a dark environment promotes higher quality sleep by producing the sleep inducing hormone melatonin. Blackout blinds, such as the BlocOut™, a child safe award winning sleep aid, will create darkness and reduce light pollution allowing you to keep a steady sleep routine regardless of the time or season. Keep bedrooms well ventilated and at the optimum temperature of between 16-18 degrees Celsius. A key factor in getting children and teenagers to sleep better is creating a bedroom where they enjoy spending time and therefore look forward to bedtime; this can be done with printed blinds, accessible storage, fun accessories, and comfortable bedding.
Lifelong Habits for Whole Family Wellbeing
By practising these tips yourself you will not only set a good example for your children but also enjoy the added benefit of increased energy levels, better focus in the workplace and improved wellbeing.
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