Summer is in full swing, and for most kids around the country, it means long nights catching fireflies, full days of swimming, running or just lounging around.
But with this budding excitement, it’s easy for kids to forget their weekday routine. You may instead dive into a new and fun summer schedule where getting a good night’s rest isn’t always a high priority.
After all, there are so many reasons to celebrate when summer rolls around, so who has time to sleep?
However, despite the newfound freedom that summer naturally brings, it’s important your kids continue to get the sleep they need to stay fresh and awake during the school year.
Sleep deprivation in children can lead to some risks down the road, including:
- Weight gain
- Sleep apnea and other sleeping disorders
So make sure your child gets the rest they require – without putting a stop to the summer fun – by following these guidelines for ample sleep.
With a little vigilance, your child will wake up ready to embrace another sunny day, all summer long.
1. Keep Bedtime the Same, or Change It Gradually
Ask any kid, and they’ll tell you that one of the highlights of summer is that they get to stay up late.
And while it’s fine for a bedtime to be adjusted when there’s no school in the morning, too much of a sudden shift can wreak havoc on your child’s sleep schedule.
So instead of automatically letting your child stay up an hour or two later than normal, go for a gradually later bedtime instead.
2. Keep Active! (But Not Too Active!)
Daily trips can wear kids out and can lead to a sound sleep, but a little too much activity can cause problems too.
After a full and active day, our minds are naturally tired, and our muscles are too – and the majority of muscle repair occurs while our bodies are at rest.
So remember that it is perfectly fine for kids to get out and be active all day – that’s what summer is for!
3. Keep the Morning Schedule Consistent, Too
It’s tempting to let kids “catch up on sleep” on the weekends – and especially in the summertime when responsibilities are few and far between.
But it’s important to keep your kids on a more or less consistent sleep schedule seven days a week, to ensure that their internal sleeping clock stays steady and functioning.
4. Keep the Lights Down
It’s naturally harder to go to sleep in the summer. It can stay light outside until 9:00 p.m., it’s warm enough to go out and play, and there’s so much to do that will keep kids excited and awake well after bedtime.
So make the transition to daytime to nighttime easier, (even if there’s still light outside), by creating a bedroom that’s conducive to sleep.
5. Watch the Intake of Treats
Summer is the season of ice cream, hot dogs and a world of other foods that aren’t always of the healthy variety.
Sugar, caffeine and other energy-boosting ingredients can harm a sleep schedule, especially close to bedtime.
With the whirlwind of camping trips, vacations, and long days at the pool, solid sleep should never be forgotten.
Keep your kids healthy and sleeping well throughout the summer, and they’ll be energized for all the activities that this fantastic season brings.
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