As September comes around, something that’s on every parent’s mind is how to get their children back into a school sleep cycle. The summer break, with its activity-filled days and light nights, can push children’s sleep cycle back by several hours. Then when school starts again, it can be a nightmare to get them back around. Luckily, children’s sleep patterns are reinforceable by following a few simple tips, including avoiding blue wavelength light from electronic devices right before bed. Follow these suggestions as the return to school approaches so that your kids get the proper sleep they need to learn!
Strict bedtimes on a school sleep cycle
The biggest contributing factors toward a healthy and productive sleep cycle are regularity and consistency. Ensure your children know that a strict bedtime is in place and that is only missed under unavoidable circumstances. But it’s also important to tell them why.
If you talk to your child about how sleep repairs their body, rests their mind and prepares them for the next day of fun and learning, they might just feel a little better about going to bed.
No electronics before bed
iPads, games consoles, phones, TVs, and computers have taken over. If your children are old enough to access these devices, they’ll likely want to use them until bedtime. However, most digital screens have something in common: they emit blue wavelength light.
This blue wavelength light doesn’t sound harmful, but the research is all in agreement that blue wavelength light is one of the most damaging types of light to your ability to sleep. The use of digital devices in the hours leading up to bedtime can reduce sleep time. These devices can also suppress melatonin production, decrease sleep quality by causing regular wake-ups, and generally mess with sleep cycles.
It’s also important to note that using electronics before bed will likely stimulate your child’s brain. It wakes them up rather than making them more tired.
The founder of The Odd Mattress Company, Neil Seed, has commented on the prevalence of digital devices and how they can affect child sleep patterns:
“So many children growing up today have access to several digital devices, and while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, the effects that blue light can have on sleep cycles is definitely understated.
It’s not only damaging to children’s ability to fall asleep easily, it also has negative effects on the quality of their sleep meaning that they’ll be tired the next day.”
Peaceful bedroom environment
Here’s the final tip to make sure that your children can get back to a regular school sleep cycle. Set up their bedroom in a comfortable, peaceful, and relaxing way.
You can achieve a calming bedroom design by focusing on a number of factors. Firstly, ensure that the color scheme isn’t too bold and exciting. For example, your child might want bright red walls for their favorite football team.
But it might not be the best color to minimize light in the summertime. Instead, darker or more neutral walls are best for keeping light to a minimum. You can always add color to the room through other methods, like accessories.
You’ll also want to ensure that there aren’t too many distractions. Having books, stuffed animals, and wall decorations are normally fine. But an excess of toys strewn across the floor can contribute to a distracted and difficult child at bedtime.
Finally, ensure your child has a comfortable and supportive mattress for a solid school sleep cycle. The right bed, strict bedtime, and lack of blue wavelength light can be the difference between a bad night’s sleep and a good one, or a grumpy child and a rested one!
Top photo by Pixabay
12 thoughts on “Get Children Back into a School Sleep Cycle”
Great post and such a challenge! Mine are doing ok with it but tonight was a challenge!
It sounds like you’re on the right track – patience, right ;) I hope you all get a great sleep tonight!
Most of these tips would be good for adults to follow as well, Christy. One thing that helps my husband and I when the days are longer is to use light-blocking curtains, so we’re not waking up at 5 am when the sky starts to lighten.
The black-out blinds are ones I used to use when I worked night shifts. Another great tip from you, Amy!!
Excellent advice! It was difficult enough trying to make the transition for my children before this era of digital distractions. The sky still being light in the spring and fall doesn’t help either. Just the hint of it behind the blinds or curtains created such outrage :)
Oh those digital distractions!! For people of all ages ;)
I always found afternoon sleep time essential for my two children .. And now I am older.. I don’t mind saying I often enjoy an afternoon ‘Power Nap’ myself.. :-) <3 lovely post..
Enjoy your weekend.. Love Sue <3
I had a nap the other day, Sue! Aw I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead.
<3 You too :-)
Such a timely post! It becomes really difficult to do homework, eat dinner, have some fun-reading in the evening, and then have enough sleep at night. The post will be very helpful for all parents with school-going kids. Have a wonderful weekend.
So glad you think this is a useful post on getting back into the swing of the sleep schedule for kids now that the new school year is here. I value your parenting tips at your blog!