Children need at least 8 to 10 hours of REM sleep each night. Kiddos that do not get adequate sleep the night before school tend to be groggy and grumpy thus have a harder time concentrating in class… not to mention tend to become more sensitive to social disputes.
Sleep also contributes to a healthier immune system! You can help your child enter each new school day with a more energetic and positive approach simply by making sure they get the right amount of sleep each night.
Here’s how to set up a healthy sleeping pattern with your children:
1. Establish a set bedtime and wake time for the weekdays. Make sure you specify that this time is non-negotiable!
2. Set up some rules for 1 hour prior to bedtime. There are many things that can affect how well your children sleep at night. If you set up some solid ground rules, then you’ll see better sleeping habits:
- Make sure they eat dinner no later than 1 hour prior to bedtime. If they eat just before bedtime, then chances are they will not fall asleep right away. Your child can have a warm glass of milk or some fruit (like cherries for example which are rich in melatonin) just before bed if they are hungry. *Consulting your child’s healthcare team before making changes to their diet is strongly advised.
- Cut out all physical activities no later than 1 hour prior to bedtime. Children need adequate downtime to get their heart rate down.
- Cut out any intense “stimulating” activities no later than 1 hour prior to bedtime. This includes video games and computers. Both can be very addictive and keep your child’s mind over-stimulated even after they’ve turned off their devices.
3. Establish a 20 to 30-minute nightly “calm-down” bedtime routine. This routine can include taking a bubble bath, putting on their pajamas, reading a book with mom or dad in addition to other relaxing activities. TV viewing at bedtime is not recommended because it may affect your child’s ability to fall asleep.
Establishing healthy sleeping patterns with our kiddos is critical to their well being, growth & development. Get creative with your children on how you can all unwind together at the end of a busy school and work day! If the transition to a back to school bedtime routine isn’t working with verbal cuing, try shifting to a visual checklist format that is reviewed and understood well before you are in the midst of bedtime.
For more tips on how to help your kiddos catch the zzz’s they need, be sure to connect with Mrs. Klettke so we can support you and your children in establishing healthy sleeping patterns.
Author: Jennifer Salama of Skillz Worldwide.
Jennifer is a 4th-degree black belt that currently works alongside her husband, John Salama, at the SKILLZ Worldwide Headquarters in Atlanta, GA. With a Masters Degree in Child Psychology, Jennifer’s experience and expertise is invaluable to helping our SKILLZ students and their parents be their best. We are so grateful to Jennifer and Skillz Worldwide for their unwavering support of our family’s mission!