School is back in session for many students in the United States, but there are many who are still counting the days down until their schools re-open their doors. FoodFacts.com has no objections to relaxing, last-hurrah traveling and whathaveyou to simply enjoy the remaining days of the summer break. However, we acknowledge that it’s good advice to start re-implementing healthy habits at home to get the whole family back into a routine.
As parents and children alike gear up for another school year, the biggest struggle is making adjustments to sleeping patterns. Late nights and mornings (or middays) are common during off-school seasons, but it’s best to help the kids ease into their school-time sleep schedule ideally two weeks before the first day of school to give their body clocks time to adapt.
Attempting to change children’s sleeping and waking up times abruptly never yields favorable results. The best way is to make incremental adjustments. Gradually adjust wake-up times and bedtimes by 30 or so minutes everyday until the ideal schedule, with the appropriate amount of sleep for each child’s age group.
Stick to the schedule
Once a healthy sleeping routine is set, be sure to maintain it. Do not disrupt the re-established schedule by staying up late on weekends.
Set earlier dinner times
More often than not, dinner is the only meal that families get to share together. Family bonding over scrumptious meals are precious. Serve dinner and enjoy these moments early in the evening, and avoid feeding heavy meals close to bedtime.
Avoid stimulating activities hours leading to bedtime. Create some quiet time, which could also allow the children to finish off the remainder of their homework. Limit time for electronics and/or replace it with more tranquil activities for the brain like reading.
Set up a quiet room with a comfortable bed and minimal to no lighting for the children. Make sure the bedroom temperature is neither too hot nor too cold.
Set a good example
Practice what you preach. Let your children see that you promote healthy sleep at home. Be a good role model by establishing a good sleep cycle for yourself as well.