Why Sleep Routines are Important?
Encouraging your child or teen to develop a healthy sleep routine will help them feel more rested in the morning and energised throughout the day. A good night’s sleep is important to your child’s learning, helping them to focus with greater concentration and for longer periods in class.
Children who sleep soundly have stronger immune systems which will help protect from them from viruses when they are in a room full of other children.
Simply Sound Sleep Strategies
You may have already started a bedtime routine before school began or you may be working on establishing a routine that works for your family. Try these useful strategies to help your cherub sleep soundly at night.
The 20/20/20 bedtime routine is a great way to help your child or teen slow down and relax their minds and bodies before going to sleep. Start one hour before bedtime.
Use the first 20 minutes to prepare for the next day. This will also reduce the stress of getting ready for school the next morning. Encourage them to consider what they will need for the following day's classes and activities. They can pack their bag, prepare their lunch and snacks and get their clothes ready.
During the next 20 minutes ask your child or teen to prepare for bed with self-care. They can brush their teeth, shower and put on their favourite PJ’s.
In the remaining 20 minutes, prepare for relaxation and sleep. Take time to talk with your child about their day, encouraging them to think about the best things that happened. My kids love it when we pray or read a book before going to sleep. Some teens like to listen to calming music or practice breathing techniques to help them unwind and quiet their mind.
Bonus Sleep Tip
Avoid using screens as the blue light will suppress melatonin production and keep their brains active. Bright lights before bed time can also affect their circadian rhythm, making it harder to fall asleep. Some families even put their Wi Fi off at night. Setting up a docking station for all your electronics outside the bedroom each night also helps to avoid the temptation of looking at screens before bed.
Developing a sleep routine is an important foundation for your child's health that they can benefit from throughout their life. So hang in there, it's worth the effort.