Keeping up a regular bedtime routine for your family during the summer months can be a huge challenge. The sun sets later and there’s no school to regulate everybody’s schedule. At CYJ-Texas, we know that the secret to healthy, happy kids begins with a good night’s sleep, and that’s why we have our own regular bedtime routine for campers. What’s the secret to our success? Here are a few of our favorite tips for a smoother bedtime routine during summer vacation.
Stay active during the day
Everyone knows that a kid who’s been run ragged during the daytime sleeps like a rock at nighttime. Try to find plenty of physical activities for your kids to do during the day and they’ll get great quality sleep at bedtime. You may not have a lake for them to swim in or a ropes course for them to conquer, but a bike ride around the neighborhood in the evenings is a great place to start.
Routine, Routine, Routine
Summer vacation is actually a great time to begin a new bedtime schedule. It gives you and your children a chance to experiment and get used to something new without the danger of being overtired at school the next morning. While your child’s exact bedtime schedule will vary based on what works for your family, here are some ideas:
- A light snack (no sugar!)
- An evening bath
- Brushing teeth
- Reading a story (no screens this close to bedtime)
- Lying down to sleep in a darkened room at the same time every night
The key to success is to do the same thing every evening. This routine teaches your children what to expect so that bedtime is never a surprise. It winds them down slowly, giving them something to look forward to so that their actual bedtime isn’t looming as large in their minds as they get ready.
Make sure your child is getting as much sleep as they need for their age group.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends children 6-13 years old need 9 to 11 hours of sleep each night, and teenagers need about 8-10 hours of sleep each night. Making sure that their bedtime is early enough to allow your children the sleep that their bodies need is crucial to their development, not to mention their happiness the next morning!
Make sure that their bedroom is quiet, dark, and distraction-free.
A dark, quiet, and cool bedroom free from distractions is best for your child’s sleep. It’s great to allow your child a comfort item, such as a favorite stuffed toy, but it’s important to avoid smartphones, loud music toys or other electronic devices which can be overstimulating and interfere with restful sleep. Any nightlights should be dim enough that they won’t interfere with rest.
We hope these tips help you and your family get the great sleep that you need to make the most of your summer! Happy dreams from CYJ-Texas.