The summer holidays are drawing to a close and a new school year is just around the corner. With structure, consistency, praise and a good night's sleep, you can smooth out any back-to-school jitters. Follow our tips to build the ultimate back-to-school bedtime routine.
Why Is Sleep So Important For School?
The National Sleep Foundation stresses the importance of getting kids on a good sleep schedule and ensuring they have enough hours of sleep - especially during the school year. Along with the essential back-to-school shopping list - new uniforms and school supplies, think about how your child will get enough quality sleep to do well in the classroom.
Getting adequate sleep is vital to your child’s health and performance in school. With quality sleep, children have improved mood and ability to focus as well as the ability to form and retain memories - an important part of learning!
Sufficient sleep serves several purposes;
- Improves their immune system
- Balances hormones
- Boosts metabolism
- Recharges the system and improves brain function
Sleep deprivation can lead to the following;
- Anxiety and depression
- Mood disorders
- Disruptive behaviour
- Frequent colds and infections
- Decreased motivation
How Much Sleep Does My Child Need?
Recommendations vary slightly, but the hours of sleep per night for the following age ranges are as follows;
- Under 1 year: 14-16 hours per day (this can include naps)
- 1-2-year-olds: 11-14 hours per day (this can include naps)
- 3-5-year-olds: 10-13 hours per day (this can include naps)
- 6-12-year-olds: 9-11 hours each night
- 13-18-year-olds: 8-10 hours each night
How to Build the Ultimate Bedtime Routine
Looking for a structured evening routine? Here are our top tips…
Introduce an Earlier Bedtime
The best way to prepare your children for a back-to-school sleep routine is by beginning early - at least a week before school starts. Progressively wake your kids 15 minutes earlier each morning and put them to bed 15 minutes earlier than the previous day. This will help you work toward having them ready and adjusted to sleeping the right amount while still waking up for school at the correct time each morning.
Beginning this process before the school year starts can allow your children to adjust to the back-to-school bedtime routine and sleep schedule before the first day. That way, when the first day of school arrives, your kids can wake up rejuvenated and ready to put their minds to the test.
Maintain a Consistent Routine
Consistency is key! A routine at home is as important as it is at school. Keeping the same routine will avoid confusion as the child will learn what is expected of them every night. This means a consistent dinner and bathtime, too.
Enforce a Screen-Free Bedroom
Make bedtime a soothing send-off into sleep by making the bedroom a screen-free zone. Turn off any gadgets and have your child relax at least an hour before bedtime - whether you read a bedtime story or they listen to music for a while give them a chance to unwind.
Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment
Set up a comfortable sleeping environment. A sleep-friendly environment can make a world of difference. It cannot only help children fall asleep quickly but also helps ensure quality sleep. Limit light, cut out the noise, maintain a comfortable temperature.
Introduce Charts and Rewards
Try making a chart with pictures to help your child understand what the bedtime routine consists of - what needs to be done and in what order. Don't forget to reward them for a fuss-free bedtime routine.
Get School-Ready the Night Before
Lay their school uniform out and pack their school bag the night before to make the morning routine less stressful.
Create a Sleep Schedule
Allow for the allocated amount of sleep per night for your child’s age group in order for the brain to grow and develop properly. Don’t wait until they’re overtired to put them to bed. Sometimes putting overtired kids to bed can be more of a challenge as they don’t understand the feelings associated with overtiredness and may act out or be uncooperative.
TIP: Keep the same wake-up/bedtime routine even on weekends. It’ll help their bodies adjust to the new routine.
For better sleep, ensure your child is;
- Eating a healthy diet and avoid large meals before bedtime
- Getting plenty of exercise during the day
- Sleeping in a cool, quiet and dark bedroom
- Avoiding blue light from smartphones, televisions, and computer screens in the lead-up to bedtime
- Cutting out energy drinks and sugar in the evening
- Getting prepped for school the night before
- Getting enough natural light in the morning
Get the Whole Family On Board
Bedtime is more fun when the whole family is involved, so try to set a good example with your own sleep habits;
- Be a good role model and get the recommended amount of sleep each night.
- Recognise that children – even teenagers - need more sleep than adults.
- Talk to your kids about the importance of sleep and make sleep a priority for the entire family.
- Ask teachers if your child is sleepy or sleeping during class.
- Older children and adolescents with set bedtimes before 10:00 pm are much more likely to get an optimal amount of sleep than those who don't.
Is your Mattress Back-to-School Ready?
The correct type of bed improves rest quality, which has a restorative effect on your mind and body. Providing a good-quality, comfortable mattress will ensure your child sleeps well through the night.
A top quality mattress offers considerably more than just improving your sleep – it improves your memory, overall cognitive function, execution, mood, and productivity - perfect for active minds!
Check out our range of memory foam kids mattresses ready for the new school year. We strive to bring the best possible night’s sleep to your little one, every night of the week. After all, the more they sleep, the more you do too!