After a summer of late nights playing in the park, hanging with friends and laid back mornings, it’s time to get back on a school schedule. I can hear the wave of relief for some moms and a thunder clash for others.
In today’s society, we place A LOT of pressure on ourselves to be the perfect parent and be ready when school starts. Which includes scrolling through pintrest to find the newest and cutest ways to pack lunch for little Tommy. Oh and we must not forget the fall wardrobe and school supplies. How many glue sticks and tissues again?
Yet, we never think of sleep. Why is that? What if I told you there are 2 simple actionable steps you can implement tonight, to make morning wake ups for school easier and bedtime a breeze. Then keep on reading gorgeous.
Use Technology PROPERLY
The first step is to use technology PROPERLY! I know I know. You’re thinking, “wait Carolina, technology is bad for sleep. It says so in all the papers and Google findings.” Yes, you are correct on that part. Technology that emits blue light is known to suppress your melatonin levels (sleep hormone) drastically. So why do I still recommend it? It’s simple. During the summer, our kids get HOOKED on tech. They might fall asleep with it. Like the TV. on, iPhone, ipad, or laptop. Maybe watching cartoons during dinner before bedtime. So when school is approaching, especially if you don’t have enough time to implement step 2 below, you can use tech as your advantage when using it properly. Here is what I mean. There are some remarkable apps that are on the market which contain meditations, sleep stories, and just simple calming sounds for the bedtime routine. I use the sleep stories personally and the meditation from an app called “Calm” and for my kids and my private clients, they love the app “Moshi Twilight”. Sleep stories are becoming more popular especially with toddler kids that love to stall bedtime. Turning on the story and placing the screen facing down and by the door (keeping it away from the child’s eyesight), is a great way to have the body begin to unwind and prepare to go to sleep. I mean who doesn’t like a great story?
In today’s world we have access and the ability to work 24 hours a day. Our kids have the ability to be visually entertained for 24 hours a day. No wonder why when bedtime approaches, so many of us have trouble shutting off our brains. Creating a relaxing environment, with dim lights and an ambient sound or story time will assist the body to naturally want to sleep. Instead of being forced and collapsing to sleep because you physically and mentally can’t stay awake. That isn’t healthy and without healthy sleep, there is no health. That is the foundation, the building blocks for everything else.
Re-Adjust Bedtime Gradually
The second step is to re-adjust bedtime gradually. You can begin 1-2 weeks prior to when school starts adjusting bedtime approximately 15 minutes earlier every 1-2 days. This means that if bedtime currently is 9:00PM, start with a 8:45PM goal of sleeping, and in 1-2 days, increase by another 15 minutes. And so on.
Now if school has started already or you don’t have 1-2 weeks to prepare, no worries. Implement an early bedtime for 1-2 weeks until you start to notice that morning wake ups are easier (less crankiness) and bedtime is becoming more or a breeze.
Wishing you a dreamy new school year.
About the Author: Carolina Romanyuk is a Child and Family Sleep Consultant, specializing in pediatric sleep hygiene and behavioral coaching, International Children’s book author, creator of: “The Sleep Trifecta: 3 Steps to Sleep Success.” Speaker, and Mom of 2 happy and rested toddlers.