Summer vacation is almost over, and whether kids break from summer, winter, spring, or even a long weekend, they seem to want to stay up later. Late nights can lead to difficult mornings transitioning back into their normal school routine. It is important for parents to put healthy sleep on the back-to-school list of necessities. Here are some helpful tips to get kids prepared to go back to school.
First, calculate how much sleep your child needs. Preschoolers need 11 to 12 hours of sleep. Ages 5-10 need 10 to 11 hours, and teenagers 9 to 10 hours.
About 10 to 14 days before school starts, parents should gradually start adjusting their child’s bedtime schedules. Have them go to bed 15 minutes earlier each day before school starts. This will help set their circadian clock to school time. Try to also keep the same sleep schedule, even on weekends, to keep sleep rhythms regulated.
Stick to an age-appropriate bedtime routine to help them wind down. For younger children this may consist of taking a bath before bed, brushing their teeth, or reading a bedtime story. For older children, they may want to read a book to relax or find a relaxation technique such as meditation, yoga, or deep-breathing exercises.
Control the sleep environment by keeping the room cool, quiet, dark, and comfortable. Electronics such as, cell phones, televisions, video games, and computers should be turned off an hour before bedtime.
Limit caffeine intake after lunch or at least 6 hours before bedtime. Caffeine is a stimulant and inhibits sleep. Healthy meals and regular exercise can help promote quality sleep.
Avoid food close to bedtime, especially spicy foods that can cause acid reflux and raise body temperature, both of which inhibit sleep.
Practice what you preach. Studies have shown that parents who set rules and abide by them themselves are more likely to have children follow their example. The right amount of sleep every night can help your child do better in school and help with mood and anxiety.
These strategies can help you and your child have a healthy, successful upcoming school year.
It is 6:23 am and the alarm clock is going off again. You hit that snooze button for the 3rd time. Every extra 10 minutes of sleep feels like heaven in the morning, but is it the best use of time? Are we really getting more rest in those few extra minutes?
Instead of hitting the snooze button, there are many things we can accomplish to get a better start to our day. Here is a list of just 10 things that we could do if we didn’t squeeze in those extra minutes.
Make your bed
Enjoy your morning shower
Eat a full healthy breakfast
Answer important emails
Check the weather
Pack a tasty and nutritious lunch
Double check you have everything and are not forgetting essential items
Take your time and enjoy your cup of coffee or tea, or treat yourself to a cup from your favorite coffee shop
Get to work on time
Enjoy not being stressed and rushed
Start your day off right and don’t hit that snooze button. Have the peace of mind that you have everything accomplished in the morning so you can focus on the tasks of the day.
It’s 6 am and you are startled awake out of a deep sleep by a horrific beeping noise. You groggily open your eyes and try to find the source of that annoying noise. Then your brain catches up and you realize it is your alarm clock.
Vast majorities of people use alarm clocks almost daily. They are hard to live without, as they ensure that we wake up early for work, school or other functions. But are alarm clocks really helpful?
The answer is YES! Natural light is better to wake up to than an alarm clock.
According to research by the National Institute of Industrial Health in Japan, although using an alarm clock maybe the most popular choice, waking up to a jolting noise can be bad for your heart. Waking up abruptly can cause higher blood pressure and heart rate. Besides increasing your blood pressure, an alarm can also increase stress levels by getting your adrenaline rushing.
There is another option for waking up to the shrilling of an alarm clock: letting your body wake naturally to light.
Here are a few simple tips to try:
Crack your blinds/curtains so natural light can enter your room.
Position your bed so the sun strikes it at an appropriate time of day.
Try to wake up at the same time every day, including weekends, so your body can become accustomed to a new sleep schedule.
If you need to wake up before the sun rises, try using a timer for your bedroom lights.
Try implementing these tips into your routine for a better and healthier start to the day!
Do you lie in bed for hours, staring at the clock? Do you wake up feeling groggy and slow? Lack of sleep can do a lot more than make you have a bad morning—it can hurt your mental and physical health. This video will explore why getting that shut eye is so important, and it will teach you five easy ways to get all the refreshing sleep you need.