5 Simple Ways to Help Kids Sleep Better During Summer
The summer break can be a fun time for teens and kids in general, but it can be stressful for parents if children aren’t getting enough sleep.
If bedtime is a struggle for your family, or if you simply want to improve everyone’s sleep habits, there are some simple steps you can take.
Here are five proven ways you can help your kids get a good night’s sleep during the summer months and beyond:
1. Set Up Their Bedrooms for Sleep
Having a relaxing atmosphere in the bedroom can help children get to sleep every night. Get some comfy sheets and pillows to help them relax in their beds.
If they’re going to bed earlier in the evening, you may need heavier drapes or blackout curtains to keep outside light from disturbing their slumber. The sun tends to set later in the summer months, making it more difficult for kids to fall asleep on time. Find ways to block the light out and keep kids’ bedrooms dark and cozy.
It’s also helpful to keep bedrooms cool at night, since drops in body temperature encourage fast and deeper sleep.
2. Keep It Cool for Hot Sleepers
Sleeping during the warm summer nights can be especially difficult for hot sleepers. If your kids wake up sweaty or complain of being hot while trying to get to sleep, it’s important to take steps to keep them cool at night. Turn on an overhead fan, change bedding, or leave their bedroom door open to allow for air circulation and comfort.
You may also consider upgrading your child’s mattress to one that helps with temperature control and heat transfer, which will transfer heat away from your child’s body rather than keeping it trapped within its layers.
3. Stick to Their Normal Schedule
With kids on summer break, it can be tempting to give them a break from their normal sleeping schedule. But veering away from their normal routine can throw their circadian rhythm completely out of whack.
When you’re trying to establish better sleep routines, it’s best to stick with a consistent schedule. Figure out how much sleep your child needs and then set a bedtime and wake up time to get them on track. Keep them on this schedule and create some nightly habits that will help them unwind and get into bed ready to relax and fall asleep.
4. Get Them Out for Daily Exercise
Exercise and play are also important habits that keep kids on a healthy sleep cycle. Getting outside for some active fun will help children burn off energy and make bedtime a little easier on all.
Instead of spending summer days inside on the couch, plan some fun activities that will get your entire family moving. Walk your dog together or take your bikes out for a spin at your favorite parks. Physical activity is also a great way to boost immune systems, meaning less sleepless nights staying up sick.
5. Shut Down Screens Before Bedtime
Watching TV and using tablets may not be the best way for your kids to unwind before bedtime. Research shows that the blue light emitted from screens can actually cause your brain to wake up and make getting to sleep more challenging.
So, it’s a good idea to set a specific cut-off time for screens in your house. You may also limit usage at least a couple of hours before bedtime, or consider removing screens from bedrooms all together.
Cutting off screens will help your kids “switch off” their minds before bedtime, and get a better night’s sleep. If your kids do happen to use screens before bedtime, try using apps that will create a dim, warm screen that will have less of an impact on sleep.
Sleep is crucial for your child’s health and well-being! Make sure they are getting all of the sleep their mind and body needs this summer by following these tips for sleep success. You’ll be improving their habits, while helping to reduce your own stress as a parent.