Don’t let long summer days ruin your family’s hard-earned sleep routine. Or, if you never had a sleep schedule to begin with, don’t wait until summer ends to start one. It’s possible for everyone in the family to maintain good sleeping habits in the summer and for the rest of the year.
- Do Relaxing Activities Together: Begin with a habit such as reading together or family yoga. Reading a book or stretching together will relax everyone before bed. If you choose a longer book, set a page limit each night—otherwise an exciting book will be hard to put down.
- Dim the Lights: Since the sun sets later, your kids are probably falling asleep later. However, if you can create a sleeping atmosphere (at least in one room), you may be able to keep your kids in a schedule. Thick, dark curtains or sheets will work to block out light from the windows and prepare the senses for sleep.
- Provide White Noise: A fan, music, or calming sounds will make continual sleep easier for kids. A fan not only keeps the room cold, but the steady hum will also help a child relax. A sound machine, or even white noise sleep apps for your phone, can play soothing noises that will help to block out distracting noises, keeping everyone in sleep mode.
- Maintain a Cool Temperature: Both kids and adults alike will sleep better in the summer heat if the bedroom stays cool. Find a temperature that works for everyone and set it there each night.
- Invite Kids to Keep a Schedule: Have your kids set a wake up alarm. Ask them to be responsible for staying in bed until the alarm goes off: this way your child may get used to waking up at a certain hour, denoted by a familiar noise. This alarm trick could also work for getting your kids to sleep at a certain time. A nighttime alarm could initiate when your kids should start getting ready for bed; thus, teaching their body and minds when to relax.
- Nighttime Prep is Important: With a bedtime routine, your kids will have recurring rituals that will prepare them for bed. Routines such as a warm bath, a bedtime story, and other relaxing activities could help them unwind.
- Set an Electronics Time Limit: Once a child’s bedtime routine has started, it’s best to limit TV use and other activities that will keep them restless. Electronics with a backlight right before bed will most likely disrupt a child’s sleep.
- Sleep Schedules are Good for You Too: If you commit yourself to a sleep routine, you will be able to get better rest during the summer months. Also, if you are sleeping better, you will be able to communicate and function better with your children.
When you are getting the sleep you need, your children may be able to follow suit. With a family routine, the summer months can provide a time for quality sleep, leaving more time for activities during the day.