Now that school is out, it’s tempting to let your kid’s sleep schedule become lax allowing them to stay up late and wake up anytime they want. Sticking to an established bedtime routine over the summer will make it easier for your child to stay healthy year-round and make the most of their summer vacation.
A study of 7-year-olds conducted by British researchers found that children’s behavior improved as their bedtimes became more regular. So, be firm and consistent on those bedtimes, Mom and Dad!
Take a look at these Mattress Firm tips to keep your youngster’s sleep routine on track this summer:
Ensure your child gets right amount of sleep for their age.
Mattress Firm understands parents will catch complaints from the kids wanting to stay up all night but The National Sleep Foundation recommends children 6-13 years old need to rest for 9 to 11 hours each night while teenagers need about 8-10 hours of sleep each night. The right amount of quality sleep is just as important to your child’s development as a good diet and regular exercise.
An overtired child releases a stress hormone called cortisol. This hormone will make it more difficult for someone to fall asleep. If your child seems to have difficulty falling asleep, move up her bedtime up by 30 minutes.
Start a bedtime routine.
Summer is a great time to begin a bedtime schedule. Your child’s sleep routine will vary based on what works for your family. This is what a typical routine could look like for school-aged children:
- A light snack
- An evening bath
- Brushing teeth
- Reading a story
- Lying down to sleep in a darkened room at the same time every night
Wake up time is just as important as bedtime.
Getting your child out of bed at the same time during the summer as she gets up during the rest of the year will make the transition from vacation to school seamless. So, urge your kids to play outside or read near a well-lit light when the alarm goes off. Exposure to bright sunlight early in the day helps regulate one’s circadian rhythm.
Set up a tranquil sleep environment without distractions.
A dark, quiet and cool bedroom free from distractions is best for sleeping. Your child should be allowed a comfort item in bed, such a favorite stuffed toy. Avoid items like a cell phone, loud music toys or other electronic devices.
Find the right bedding.
During the hot summer months, it’s important to keep kids cool while sleeping. Sheets made of flannel or fleece and down comforters can warm up their little bodies making it difficult to rest. The type of bedding you use affects the body’s temperature throughout the night. Linen materials are considered best for the summer. There are also a variety of pillows and mattresses that affect temperature as well. Visit one of our Mattress Firm locations and we will be happy to review those products with you.
Allowing your kids to choose new bedding for summer can get them excited about their bed and new routine. Let them help make the bed and teach them about mattress maintenance.
Maintain healthy nutrition year-around.
Summer is filled with picnics, barbecues and unhealthy treats. Watching your child’s diet will actually help her sleep better. Chocolate, sodas, coffee-flavored drinks or ice cream and some sports drinks contain caffeine – all of these will prevent your child from falling asleep.
Trust us, you’ll be thankful for setting up a predictable schedule come August when school bells start ringing again. Until then, create structure this summer and enjoy your summer vacation!
About The Author
The Daily Dozers The Daily Dozers is a team of our finest Mattress Firm sleep happy experts, pooling their expertise to bring you all you need to know on sleep news of the day and the latest trends in sleep health. Sometimes our team of regular Daily Doze contributors (Craig, Ken and Sunni…not to name names) will throw a pillow or two when trying to decide who gets to write about which topic; and when that happens, we let our task force of daily dozin’ specialists play referee, pooling their knowledge on the topic. From super-sized snoring habits to the very real struggle of trying to become a morning person, there’s no topic too tired for The Daily Dozers. Best Night’s Sleep: There’s nothing that this dream team loves more than long walks on the beach to prepare for a peaceful slumber, a warm cup of lavender tea, an old Jane Austen novel and curling up in the comfort of their very own Mattress Firm beds.