I can't believe that we are almost at the end of the summer holidays! In just a few sleeps we will be settling into bed and waking up the next morning to a brand new school year...
With just one 'summer' weekend left in sight, Monday, Bank Holiday or not, will see us get back to routine, back to a bedtime routine in particular as we are a lot more relaxed about bedtime's during the holidays. So with the help of Silentnight and Dr Nerina Ramlakhan here are some top tips for getting back to sleep now we are (almost) back to school....
1. Start to introduce technology-free time in the evenings.
Research has shown that by having a constant stream of light enter our eyes before we go to sleep, we are actually telling our brains that we want to be awake. An hour or so before children go to bed, rule out any blue light. This means no TV, tablets or mobile phones. The bedroom should be a technology free environment.
2. Gradually reintroduce earlier bedtimes.
An ideal bedtime for pre-teens would be no later than 8.30pm, gradually shift bedtime earlier over the course of a few days to allow children to adjust.
3. A calming pre-sleep routine.
The few hours before bed can be just as important as actual bedtime. Relaxing baths with lavender, a milky drink or reading are great ways to help children wind down and feel ready for bed.
4. Have a chat.
Heading back to school or starting a new one, can be worrying for some children, and leave them feeling anxious. Talk to your child about any concerns they may have before bedtime, and encourage simple yoga or meditation by repeating a calming word or by helping them with their breathing techniques, including breathing deeply from the stomach.
5. Create a sleep friendly bedroom.
Bedrooms need to be sleep friendly and this means a cool environment. Freshly laundered bedding, possibly lavender fragranced, can make the room feel very calming and relaxing. Again, technology free bedrooms are a must!
6. Exercise is key.
It is scientifically proven that exercise can help you get a better night’s sleep. Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways of reducing stress hormone levels (mainly adrenaline) thus enabling you to sleep more deeply. A short walk with children after the evening meal would be the perfect exercise to help them wind down.
7. Good nutritional habits.
To help us sleep we need a good balance of the hormones serotonin and melatonin in our system. Sending children off to school with a balanced lunchbox will help to promote a healthy hormone balance. Things such as chicken, cheese, tuna, eggs, nuts and milk are all high in serotonin and are lunchbox friendly.
For more information and sleep tips visit www.silentnight.co.uk/sleep-matters.
What are your top back to school or sleep tips? Let us know in the comments below....
This post was written in collaboration with Silentnight.