It's not too late to think about transitioning to back-to-school bedtimes. Mary Helen Rogers from the Better Sleep Council is sharing tips on how parents can transition their kids from a summer sleep schedule (or lack thereof!) to a solid school bedtime routine.
Parents should follow these simple steps to create a seamless and stress-free back-to-school sleep schedule.
1. Slowly move toward a school bedtime.
"Determine an ideal school bedtime. Then, move up your child's current bedtime in 15-minute increments until you reach the desired school bedtime. It's best to start this process two to three weeks before the first day of school," said Rogers.
2. Know kids can't catch up on sleep.
"In reality – you just can't bank sleep. The same goes for kids. Sleeping in late on the weekends makes it more challenging to fall asleep Sunday night and wake early Monday morning," Rogers said.
3. Create healthy sleep habits.
"What you eat affects how you sleep. Fix sleep issues with a revamp of your family's diet," said Rogers. She encourages foods rich in sleep vitamins and minerals such as melatonin found in oranges, pineapple and tomatoes.
4. Develop a relaxing, peaceful bedroom.
Rogers suggests painting their walls a calming color and adding lavender scents, removing electronics and clutter, and having them make their beds.
5. Encourage physical activity.
"One hour of physical activity can make all the difference in a successful bedtime. Outdoor play is important to expose kids to sunshine and fresh air," she said.
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