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Ways to Get Your Child’s Sleep Routine Back on Track During Summer

Submitted by on July 8, 2013 – 3:02 pmOne Comment

Summer Sleep Routines

Successful Strategies for Summer Sleep Routine

Visa Shanmugam

Summer holidays are in full swing and the kids are out of school.  Once school is out, many of us have a tendency to let routines fall by the wayside, without the usual structure to our week. Kids don’t have to abide by a strict bedtime anymore as they don’t have to wake up early for school.  It’s too light and too hot to go to bed.  There are just too many fun summer things to do outside to even think about sleep.  The list goes on and on.

However, lack of structure and routine in the summer, especially when it comes to sleep is not necessarily healthy.  Young children are tuned to waking up at the same time every morning.  So if you are putting them to bed late due to having fun in the sun, they are still likely to wake up early in the morning due to their internal clocks.  Unlike adolescents, teenagers and adults, they will most likely not sleep late in the mornings to catch up on their sleep.  So the buildup of sleep deprivation can create moodiness, crankiness and irritability which then lead to tantrums.

If your child’s sleeping patterns have been thrown off during the summer, then it might be a good idea to get back on track 2-3 weeks before school starts, because that’s how long it takes to change your internal clock to waking up early and going to bed early. So what are some of the things that you need to do to ensure that they are ready to go when school starts up again

  • Honor nap schedules if your child is still taking a nap and honor bedtimes.  If your child normally goes to bed at 7pm during school time, then start pushing bedtimes earlier by 15-20 mins every few days to get them accustomed to going to bed early again.  The same strategies apply for waking up early in the mornings too.  If they are used to waking up late during the holidays, then waking them up 15-20 mins earlier each day until you reach the desired wake up time will help.
  • Blackout shades are essential in your child’s room for blocking out the light and heat. Even though it’s light outside, the darkness in the room will help them produce melatonin, which helps promote sleep.
  • Keep the room cool so that they are not sweating.  Being too hot or humid doesn’t help with going to sleep.  Maintaining a temperature between 68 and 72 degree is ideal.  But if that is not ideal for your family, then a fan is just as good.
  • Have them take a cool bath before bed.  It helps calm them down and helps with letting them know that sleep is approaching as part of a regular bedtime routine.  It also helps cool down the body’s internal temperature, which again helps with falling asleep easily.
  • Keep sugar and junk food to a minimum – I have started to notice the ice-cream and juice intake for my son has increased during the summer months.  Setting limits and monitoring the junk food intake will help with summertime sleep.
  • Too much sun exposure can also hinder healthy sleep.  If their skin has been damaged or they are in discomfort, it will prevent them from relaxing and getting a good night’s sleep as they struggle to get comfortable. So slather them with sun block and limit the amount of time they spend in the sun.

Visa ShanmugamVisa Shanmugam helps parents develop customized sleep solutions for babies, toddlers and young children that addresses each family’s specific challenges.  Using techniques and strategies from The Sleep Sense™ Program developed by world-renowned sleep expert Dana Obleman, her plans are simple, easy to follow, yet flexible.  Visa is available for private consultations, group seminars and speaking engagements. Website: www.sound-sleepers.com  Facebook page: www.facebook.com/soundsleepers

 


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