**DISCLOSURE: This article is sponsored by Restonic . Compensation was provided to help facilitate this post, however, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.**
Summer is all about fun and staying up late. Curfews are pretty much
extinct extended, and you can hear all of the neighborhood children laughing and playing until way past dark. Many routines are set aside and the family, as a whole, enjoy summer and all of the activities that come with it. In my home, the kids are usually outside still swimming at 10 pm. We allow this because we know they’ll get tired out, and really, the way summer weather was here in the Ohio Valley, it rained – a lot. So we just let them play while we could! However, as summer comes to an end, we begin to implement a more “normal” routine so to speak. I’m going to share with you the five bedtime routines that will get you and your child into the back to school spirit.
Just because summer is coming to a close, doesn’t mean that your fun has to end too. It’s true that routines can become boring, but you don’t have to let become so.
“Show your children how you prioritize and respect the need for sleep. Have some family time before bedtime without electronics – some crafts, puzzles, board games, etc.” Terry Cralle, RN, MS, Certified Clinical Sleep Educator from the Better Sleep Council.
Five Bedtime Routines
“Sufficient sleep is crucial for a child’s growth and development as well as for learning. Sleep is involved in cellular repair, the release of growth hormone, immunity, strengthening of the nervous system, metabolism and weight management – all while playing a vital role in brain development.” Terry Cralle, RN, MS, Certified Clinical Sleep Educator from the Better Sleep Council
Here are my family’s bedtime routines:
We normally begin these 2 weeks before the new school year begins. We believe that routine and consistency greatly help in setting goals and having well-rested children.
Cut Down On Sugary Snack
The idea is to get your kids calmed down before bed, not hyped up right? We try eliminating sugary snacks like ice cream, sodas, and juices by 6 pm. This usually means we’ll have an earlier dinner time too. I want the kids to sleep, not crash and then not be able to wake up in the morning.
Get Them to Read
Have them read before bed. It’s been shown that reading actually relaxes the eyes and brain. Falling asleep while reading also helps retain information – go figure no wonder I know way too much about Vampires! (I jest!) Have the kids read a book from their summer reading list, not only will they get it done, but they’ll get to sleep easier too.
Hot Baths Before Bed
If you love hot baths for their relaxing effect, imagine what it can do for the kids? Warmth is a natural relaxant and it allows the muscles to regenerate and rest. Water has the same effect. Taking a hot bath before bed will ensure that your kids will be well relaxed and ready for lights out in no time!
Change the Mattresses
I can not stress this one enough. The boys were having a hard time falling asleep at the beginning of the last school year. We invested in better mattresses and the change in sleep pattern and retention was almost instantaneous!
Mom and Dad Should Be Well Rested Too!
You, the parent, should get some sleep too! The Better Sleep Council Says,
“Sufficient sleep should be a priority for the entire family. A well-rested parent is in a better mood, more efficient, more organized, more productive, has better relationships – not to mention healthier. It is important that parents set the tone; power down at least an hour before bedtime.” Terry Cralle, RN, MS, Certified Clinical Sleep Educator
If you’re well rested and less irritable, it’s more than likely that your kids will be too. Remember, kids are sponges and they mimic our emotions as well. So get some good rest, set your own routine as well. It’ll be beneficial for everyone!
Limit Screen Time and Electronics
This should go without saying, tablets, T.V, cell phones, and video games, should all be put down at least two hours before bed, maximum one hour before bed. We want their minds to relax, their eyes to rest, and their bodies to be less fidgety. Limiting these will help set the mode for bedtime. For more tips on how to get a good night’s sleep and setting back to school routines, check out Restonic’s SleepBlog.
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