Wake Up, Now! How To Get Your Kids Out Of Bed
As back-to-school time is packed with shopping for school supplies and prepping class schedules, one of the most important preparations may go overlooked: re-establishing a sleep routine.
If you’ve done it with your kids in the past, then you already know that transitioning from summertime sleep schedules to school time sleep schedules is no joke.
With 68 percent of parents noting that adjusting to a back-to-school sleep schedule as the biggest challenge, Sealy, one of America’s oldest mattress brands, has teamed up with the UNC School of Medicine’s Neurodiagnostics and Sleep Science Department to provide tips to help families transition from summertime to a cohesive family sleep schedule. They surveyed over 1,000 parents nationwide to learn more about back-to-school, back-to-sleep routines relating to sleep quality, schedules and routines.
It turns out that there are multiple factors that affect what happens when trying to get your kids out of bed.
Hopefully, these tips will help…
Night Owls No More: No Late Bedtimes
“Set your child’s bedtime and stick to all week,” Dr. Mary Ellen Wells, Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurodiagnostics and Sleep Science at UNC Chapel Hill tells Mommynoire. The recommended number of hours of sleep differs for each age group, but according to the National Sleep Foundation, school age (5-10 years) children should get 10-11 hours of sleep per night while teens (11-17 years) should plan on 8.5-9.5 hours of sleep each night.
Shift Bedtime To Accommodate A Schedule For School
Starting a week or two before school starts, determine the number of hours your child’s bedtime needs to shift and gradually advance the bedtime and wake time to the appropriate time (by no more than 30 minutes per day).
Turn Off Electronics Two To Three Hours Before Bedtime
Any type of electronic that emits blue light or revs up brain activity counteracts the body’s natural transition to sleep. “The sleep environment should be restful – meaning dark, quiet, comfortable and not distracting. Creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and associating your child’s bed with sleep can also help, which means keeping ‘sleep stealers’ out of the bedroom, such as computers, smart phones, TV, etc.,” Dr. Wells tells us.
Invest In A Comfortable Mattress
Even if you can’t do this right away, keep in mind that 13 percent of parents say the quality of the mattress has the biggest impact on quality sleep. Younger parents, millennials, aged 18-29 are the most likely to say mattress quality impacts sleep quality (20 percent). To help ensure a comfortable night’s sleep, invest in a mattress that is engineered to fully support the back and align the body. “A good mattress can the difference of a transformative sleep and one leaving your child tossing and turning at night,” said Kevin Leatherwood, Senior Director of Global Product Development at Sealy. “Investing in a quality mattress for your child can be one of the most important items in transitioning your child back to school.”
Soak Up Sunshine After You Wake Up
There are external cues called zeitgebers that help synchronize our sleep/wake rhythm. The sun is by far the most powerful zeitgeber, which can be used to help us orient to our desired routine. “If possible, have your child get outside for some sunshine in the morning soon after waking,” Dr. Wells says. “15 minutes will do the trick.”