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How to Make School Year Bedtime a Breeze

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2018 08:37 AM

Many families neglect the usual bedtime when their kids are not in school for summer or holidays. While it's fun to have movie nights and stay up late looking at the stars, getting back to regular bedtime isn't always easy. Instead of a nightly fight over timing and routine, try these tips to make school year bedtime easier:

Stay on track

Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to get up for work in the middle of the week? It's likely because you've had similar bedtimes and wake-ups for a few days in a row. Creating a routine for your kids to go to bed at the same time every night will help their internal clocks realize when it's time to go to sleep. Not only will there be less fighting over when to hit the hay, your kids may actually fall asleep faster, leaving them feeling refreshed and ready to tackle classes in the morning. Most schools proctor any standardized testing in the morning as that is typically when kids' brains are at their best. Ensuring your children get ample sleep is a crucial part of encouraging success on these and other exams and coursework.

Avoid eating and drinking

Lying down and trying to sleep is often difficult with a full belly. Even a stomach that is actively digesting can make it hard to get some rest. Make sure your kids eat several hours before they go to bed so their bellies have time to settle. Drinking can also be problematic because it can lead to your children getting up several times a night to go to the bathroom. Try not to let them drink anything within two hours before bed. This way they'll empty their bladders before they read their bedtime stories. Carbonated and caffeinated beverages are particularly bothersome as they can keep your children up and irritate the bladder, so avoid these drinks for the latter half of the day.

Skip screen time

The blue light emitted by many phones, computers and tablets can disrupt the sleep cycle as it can trick the body into thinking it's still daylight when the clock is long past dusk. Enjoy family movie night several hours before bedtime to reduce the chance that Scooby's pixels will cause sleep interruptions. Also, encourage your kids to do any computer-related homework right after school. This way they won't be trying to shut off their brains and eliminate the effects of the blue light moments before heading to bed.

Set an example

Kids of all ages follow the examples of those around them. If you always go to bed at the same time this will contribute to a healthy routine that your family follows. It will be easier for you to wake up in the morning, too - a definite plus. Keeping your whole household on a set schedule will promote ease in bed times, getting up and making it to activities on time.