Posted on 10th February 2019 By: In-home Tutors
The first weeks back at school after the Christmas holidays can be difficult for kids as they adjust to new classes and routines. Sleep is one of the first areas to suffer when children are feeling unsettled. It takes time to get back into a regular sleep pattern after the long break, especially when the nights are still warm.
All these factors can lead to poor or interrupted sleep. On average, children aged between 3 – 5 years need 10 to 13 hours of sleep a night, while those aged 6 – 13 need 9 to 11 hours, and 14 – 17 year olds should be getting at least 8 to 10 hours a night.
Without enough sleep, children feel drained and exhausted. They don’t want to get up in the morning, and have problems concentrating at school, which may lead to behavioural issues. It’s vital to address sleep issues early before they affect learning.
Follow these tips to help your child get a good night’s sleep:
- Establish a bedtime routine and stick to it. When kids go to bed at the same time every night their bodies adjust, making it easier to drop off. The bedtime routine for younger kids should include bath time and a story. Reading together before bed not only helps with literacy skills, it’s also valuable bonding time which helps children feel loved and secure. Try to talk only about positive things before bed, but if kids want to share worries or fears, listen to them and offer reassurance.
- Have screen-free time before bed. According to scientific guidelines, screens should be put away one hour before bedtime. The LED light interferes with the release of melatonin, making it difficult to fall asleep, and children are particularly vulnerable to this.
- Use relaxation techniques. Simple relaxation techniques such as listening to music and deep breathing can help kids falls asleep faster and have a more restful slumber. For children who suffer from anxiety, you can try creative visualisation or even use a worry doll. These dolls originated in Guatemalan culture, and they work by helping children control negative emotions.
- Ensure the room is quiet and dark. Television noise and light can keep children awake, so it’s important to turn the sound down and close the door when they’re sleeping. The room should have good ventilation so kids don’t overheat in summer. Experts recommend sleeping in total darkness, but many children are afraid of the dark. To manage this, you can leave a light on to help them fall asleep and turn it off later.
- Limit caffeine. Kids love energy drinks, chocolate and cola, but they all have caffeine in them. These items are also not very healthy, so it’s a good idea to only have them as occasional treats and avoid giving them to kids late in the day. Some foods which do help with sleep include oatmeal, toast, peanut butter, eggs, yogurt, bananas and cheese.
Back to School, Student Health, Uncategorised