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As a parent, one of the best things you can do for your child is to ensure that they get an adequate amount of sleep each night. However, putting your child to bed can also be one of the most difficult parts of the day, particularly during the summer. Presented to you by VJ Pillow, here are some ways to create a summer sleep routine that also improves the quality of sleep for your children.
Improve Your Child’s Sleep Quality
Sleep and emotional health are deeply connected. In fact, improper amounts of sleep can cause moodiness and irritability, and chronic insomnia has been tied to depression. Sleep promotes memory, good decision-making, and alertness throughout the day. The amount of sleep each person requires is highly individual. While adults generally need between seven and nine hours each night, most experts recommend that children get nine to 12 hours a night. (For teenagers, eight to 10 hours of sleep are recommended).
The quality of this sleep is important as well. If your child is staying up too late, it may be time to remove technology like phones, tablets, game systems, and televisions from the bedroom. The bright, blue-tinted light of cell phones negatively impacts brainwaves and inhibits the body’s usual process of settling down for sleep by increasing alertness. Interactive media, like phones and video games, have even more of an effect on sleep inhibition. Try having your child keep their phone’s charging cable away from their bed or out of their room entirely, and set lights-out hours where larger media is turned off.
There are some exceptions to the technology rule, though. If your child is used to falling asleep watching a video on their tablet, switching them to listening to an audiobook on a bluetooth speaker satisfies their need to hear (but not watch) a bedtime story without being exposed to blue light.
Prepare Their Room for Sleep
The environment in which your child sleeps can make a big difference on their ability to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. Even though kids often like having nightlights, make the room as dark as possible to tap into their circadian rhythm. People also sleep best in cool environments, so adding a ceiling fan can make a big difference in your child’s sleep, especially during the summer months. It’s also a relatively small cost for something with a potentially big payoff. For help installing a ceiling fan, find a good online review site. Note that some directories will allow you to answer some questions to get more specific recommendations along with estimates, which can be helpful. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to a few businesses, call for specific quotes and to get a sense of their responsiveness before scheduling an installation with someone.
As little as your child may enjoy cleaning his room, another major factor for insomnia is a cluttered room. When in a room surrounded by unorganized paraphernalia, our brains register it as a critical project to be completed. Sleeping with something on your mind is difficult enough, but when you are literally surrounded by the project, it can make sleep seem impossible. To get your child to clean their room, use a combination of rewards and consequences by withholding privileges and offering occasional assistance.
It’s also important to replace everyone one to two years to ensure they are clean and supportive. If you notice that your child’s (or your) pillow is lumpy or smells funny, or if there are complaints of neck pain in the morning, it may be time for a replacement. VJ Pillow has great pillows that offer support and comfort to ensure you and your family get a great night’s sleep.
Sleep Schedules for Younger Children
Summertime, while fun, can often have damaging effects on your child’s sleep schedule. The most important thing that most experts advise is to maintain (with a few adjustments) your child’s regular routine. Help them get the same amount of sleep by calculating how much they need, what time they need to wake up, and working backward from there. It’s okay if their bedtime and wake-up time shift by an hour or two, but try not to skew it too much, or it’ll be difficult to get them back on their regular school-year sleep schedule.
For younger children, it may be helpful to fill the day with activities and play. Once it is bedtime, make sure that you’re taking time to talk to your kids. It’s an opportunity for them to have your undivided attention, which may be difficult to accomplish at other times in a busy day. A full day will typically lead to a full night’s rest.
Sleep Schedules for Teenagers
Setting a sleep schedule for your teenager can seem even more difficult than getting enough sleep yourself. However, sleep is just as important for them as it is for younger children. Explain to them how important it is that they maintain their sleep schedule, even on weekends—the only way to catch up on sleep is to maintain a consistent routine. One of the best ways to get your teen to sleep well is to lead by example. Remove technology from your bedroom and follow a schedule yourself, and your older children will be much more inclined to follow through with their own schedule.
Help Them Get Their Zzzzs
Sleep is critical for your children’s mental and physical health. Make sure that your child’s sleeping space is dark and cool, and that their VJ Pillow is fresh and clean. Remove technology and clutter from the bedroom to improve the quality of sleep, and stick to a consistent schedule so your child will be back-to-school ready. And do your best to model a good sleep schedule to help everyone in your household get the rest they need.