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5 Essential Sleep Tips for Back to School

Back to school before you know it!

Can you believe it is already August?! For parents of school-aged kiddos, that means back to school in just a few weeks — I know that’s the case here in Nevada! For some parents, they will be sending their kiddo(s) to school for the first time. Boy walking to back to school with a backpack on his head

And no matter how experienced you are with this back to school season, most of us will be using this fall to get back into a routine for ourselves and our little(s).We are expecting ourselves and our kiddos to make quite a few changes in the next few weeks, and we all know change is hard!

Change is hard, but these tips can help

So, to combat the “hardness” of change, I’ve created for you my top five tips for navigating this back to school transition. And if you are interested, I’m offering a FREE WEBINAR that will cover all these tips (and more). You can find info about the webinar here.

Back to school routine chart with clockBack to school tip 5: Be consistent 

Create a bedtime routine to keep our minds and bodies happy. We always like to know what’s next! It doesn’t matter if your child is going into pre-school or will be a freshman in high school, a good sleeproutine is essential.

It’s not just about getting them physically ready for bed. The routine signals their brain that bedtime is approaching, and the brain starts shutting down in preparation for sleep.

A routine chart (or even routine clock like the one pictured) can be very helpful for letting our kiddos know what is coming next! Why not spend an afternoon this week making one together? You could even make the color-coded key on a white board so that the categories could change based on sports, practices and other events.

Back to school tip 4: Preserve the sleep environment Messy kid's bedroom

The sun is “staying up late” and “getting up early” through the start of fall, so make sure the blinds in your child’s room are blocking it out.

It can be really hard for little ones to realize it is time for bed when they can still see the sun! The late sun also has a habit of heating up the bedrooms, so set the thermostat somewhere between 60 and 70 degrees an hour before bedtime.

If your kiddo’s bedroom has been used as a playroom, fort building room, or junk collecting space over the summer, take some time to get it cleaned up and organized! A sleep space should be calming and relaxing rather than overwhelming.

No more screentimeBack to school tip 3: Screens be gone

Computer, TV, and phone screens all emit blue light, which tricks our internal clocks into thinking that it’s still daytime. My advice… Power down the electronics at dinnertime and keep them off until the next morning, and to minimize temptation, don’t charge devices near beds!

Bonus tip: Once screen are out of sight, reading can begin! Whether you’re reading to your kids or they’re reading on their own, a half hour of book time is a great way to wind down before going to sleep. The repetitive eye motion and low level brain activity is a natural sedative. This is likely why so many of us find ourselves falling asleep while reading to our kids. OOPS! J

Digital timer on phone Back to school tip 2: Blame the timer ­

Setting a timer is a great way of deflecting the blame away from parents for when bedtime is approaching. After all, it’s not you hustling them to get to bed… It’s the timer!

It can also be a fun challenge for them to get their bedtime routine completed before it goes off. Put a sticker on the calendar for every night they beat the clock, and offer a reward for a perfect week.

And last but not least back to school tip 1: Don’t wait!

Two girls working together with a notebook going back to school

Change is hard, and change in one or two nights is even harder! Two and half months of late a bedtime isn’t something you can just snap back from quickly. Your child is going to need some time to adjust, so two weeks before school gets back in, start moving bedtimes back by 15 minutes every 3 nights or so.

Help a sister (or friend or neighbor) out!

If you feel like these tips have been helpful, give the post a share, would ya?! You never know who may be dreading this transtion as much as you!

And if you feel like you need a customized sleep plan and individualized support to get you started on the right foot, let’s chat! Why not use this back to school time as great opportunity to change the state of sleep in your house. After all, well-rested kiddos learn better, perform better in school and are happier monsters to be around once they get home in the afternoon!

Happy kid running home with his backpack

Who doesn’t want to be greeted with a smile like this every afternoon?!

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