Sunday, 23 August 2015

Back to School and Back to Sleep

It is less then two weeks until the girls go back to school. This summer holidays the usual bedtime has disappeared. With lots of late and very late nights, still the early get ups, and no naps... they are in urgent need to get back to routine and settle down for some (hopefully) early nights. I also need them to get some catch up sleep for my sanity. I know I am not alone in this subject so have teamed up with Silentnight beds to bring you some tips which may help...
 
Silentnight’s sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, says: “The school holidays are an exciting time for children, it means enjoying lovely holiday lie-ins, afternoon naps, and sometimes late nights, all hugely affecting both parents’ and childrens' body clocks.
 
“Routine is key to children waking up refreshed and feeling ready for bed at a suitable time. The sooner you begin to reintroduce a sleeping rhythm, after several weeks of irregularity, the sooner all the family can fall back into a healthy sleeping pattern.
 
Dr Nerina, a physiologist, sleep therapist, author and consultant for more than 20 years, has listed her top sleep tips to help your child ease back into their school-time sleep schedules:

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
 
 
Will you be implementing some of Dr Nerina Ramlakhan tips? Do you follow some of these techniques already? How has the summer holidays affected your children's sleep patterns?


*I received a silent night gift hamper in return for this post.
 

3 comments:

  1. I will definitely be implementing some of these tips! Summer hols have thrown everything out of whack x

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  2. The key to exercising for sleep is to do it with at least four hours gap between, the same as eating! Eat minimum of four hours before you sleep, otherwise your body is digesting and not focusing on repairing its self :)
    Great tips!

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  3. when I was in uni, I couldn't sleep, never! I had to develop a rutine. It was soo hard!

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