There’s a lot to think about in the run-up to the start of school term, from buying uniform to stocking up on new stationery. But one of the most important things is getting back into a good sleep routine. Getting back into a sleep routine for the start of school term might seem like a bit of nightmare following a summer of days out and sleepovers. Keep reading to find out why your children should be prioritising their sleep and top tips to beat those bedtime battles.
Why is sleep so important for children?
Sleep is essential to your children’s performance at school. After a good night’s sleep, children are more likely to have an improved mood and better ability to focus. The more deep sleep they get the better as this is when the brain processes information and helps them remember and learn.
How much sleep does your child need?
The amount of sleep your child should have depends on their own individual needs, but as a rough guideline, The National Sleep Foundation suggest the following hours of sleep:
- Preschoolers (ages 3-5) require 10-13 hours of sleep
- School age children (ages 6-13) require 9-11 hours of sleep
- Teenagers (ages 14-17) require 8-10 hours of sleep
Back to school is a great time to look at a child’s sleep environment to ensure it is a relaxing space for sleep and free of distractions. There are some key components to look at when making changes to a child’s sleep environment:
Darkness: The bedroom should be as dark as possible. Blackout curtains or blinds do the best job at eliminating outside light. Otherwise, try a sleep eye mask.
Temperature: An environment that is too warm can keep your child awake. Many experts say the ideal temperature for the bedroom is 16-18°C (60-65°F).
Bed: Their bed should be kept for sleep only. Encourage your child to do homework, reading, and other activities in another room in the house, or a designated area of their bedroom if there is space.
For more information about creating the perfect sleep environment, check out this blog post.
Bring back a bedtime routine
Having a consistent bedtime routine helps signal to the body and mind that it’s time for bed. A good bedtime routine could include:
- Taking a warm bath or shower
- Reading a book
- Mug of Sleep Well
- Simple stretches
- Bedtime yoga
For more sleep tips, download our Good Sleep Habit Guide.