Back to School Sleep Tips

School supplies… check.  New backpack… check.  Sleep hygiene tune-up… check? 

Yep.  It’s that time of year!  As you rush around trying to get our kids ready for the upcoming school year don’t forget to do a quick check of your sleep hygiene.  That is, take inventory of all of the pieces of the puzzle that come together to create healthy sleep, known as sleep hygiene.  First, has your routine gotten lax over the summer?  For most of us the answer here is a resounding YES!  Of course!  The lazy days of summer give us a much needed break from the structure and scheduling we all face during the other seasons.    Time to tighten it back up to give your little one the best chance at quality sleep- remember the best bedtime routines are short (15 minutes or less), sweet, predictable and non-negotiable.  Children crave and thrive on routine and it can help ease the transition back to school.  Second, have you lost all remnants of a schedule?  If the answer is yes, consider starting early, say a week before school starts, to ease back into your normal schedule.  Often bedtimes inch later and later during the summer as the days lengthen and our calendars fill with fun.  Gradually begin to push that bedtime earlier and focus on waking your child at the same time every day to help them be ready for that first day of school.  A developmentally appropriate schedule will also ensure that your child is getting enough sleep to help them grow and learn. Third, do a quick scan of your child’s sleep environment.  The ideal sleep environment is cool, dark, quiet, and comfy.  Is there sun creeping in at bedtime? Maybe you need to darken the room a bit.  White noise is a great for tuning out the bustling world outside as you try to get your little one to sleep earlier.  Also be aware of screen time- turn off screens at least one hour before bedtime and no screens in the bedroom. Healthy sleep habits give your child the best chance for a healthy, happy and successful school year!  Sweet dreams…

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