July 31, 2013

6 Back-To-School Sleep Tips for the Whole Family

It’s almost back to school time! This means the end of late bedtimes, sleepovers and sleeping in. Here are some tips to help your entire family get a better night’s sleep:

  1. Turn off the TV, computer, cell phone and any other gadgets that can stimulate your brain at night. Do this at least 1 hour before bedtime.
  2. Create a relaxing bedtime routine. For younger children, this may mean taking a bath or relaxing. Too much physical activity within a couple of hours of bedtime can make falling asleep harder. For older kids, teens and adults, try doing a few stretches or taking a warm shower.
  3. Include your child in making decisions about what to do before bedtime. If you emphasize the importance of sleep and why our bodies need it, there will be fewer arguments at bedtime. For younger children, getting ready for bed together can help lessen the anxiety they may feel about “missing out” on other activities. By putting on your pajamas and brushing your teeth at your child’s bedtime, you can re-emphasize that sleep is important at all stages of life.
  4. Try keeping the same bedtime and wake time every day, even on the weekends. Erratic sleep schedules can make it harder to get the needed amount of sleep.
  5. No caffeine for at least 12 hours before bedtime. Many children drink sodas, iced coffee beverages and other caffeinated beverages through out the day to fight off sleepiness. But this only makes it harder to fall asleep at night. Don’t forget that chocolate has caffeine, as do many types of teas, so limiting the amount of caffeine consumed in the afternoons and evening hours can make a difference.
  6. Although it can be difficult, setting limits at bedtime is important. If your teenager wants to watch 1 more television show at bedtime or spend 20 more minutes chatting with friends online, emphasize how important his/her sleep is to feeling rested and good the next day. Similarly, younger children are notorious for requesting 1 more book, a glass of water or 1 more hug and kiss before bedtime. Although it’s tempting to give in to these requests, simply keep in mind that you are setting the stage for future nights.

The Baptist Health Sleep Center is designed to help you discover the cause of your sleeplessness, and determine the most effective treatment option. Sleep studies, for ages 5 to adult, are offered with all the conveniences of being at home, in a quiet, restful environment. For more information about the Baptist Health Sleep Center visit our website our call 502.896.7612.


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