Even without lockdown and a global pandemic in the mix, going back to school after the summer holidays always presents a big change in routine, and not just for the kids!
From late nights, to even later get ups, the school holidays can throw our sleep schedules completely out of kilter, meaning that as the term begins again, concerns around suitable bedtimes, tiredness, and routine can kick in.
So, as the kids head back to school after more than just a summer break, how can you help ensure a better night’s sleep for all the family?
Here are my top tips:
Spend less time in bed. This may sound contradictory, as you’d imagine bed would be the best place to be if you were feeling tired, but spending too long in bed awake can create the wrong associations. The longer we spend in bed awake, the more we start to relate our bed to being awake, which can lead to sleeplessness. So in the run up to back to school, stop the lounging in bed, the working from bed and the watching TV in the bedroom, keep bed for nighttime only and remember, the longer you are out of bed for, the stronger your drive for sleep will be.
Don’t go to bed too early. As the kids head back to school, after a summer of late bedtimes it can be tempting to try and put them to bed early. However, an abrupt change in bedtime can actually do more harm than good. Instead, gradually move toward the new earlier bedtime as school-time nears, and there’s far more chance of them getting a good night’s sleep. The same rule applies for us adults too!
Stop watching the clock. If you’re waking in the night then it’s very tempting to look at the clock every time you wake, monitoring how little sleep you’re getting. However, this increases pressure to fall back to sleep and therefore makes it less likely. Set your alarm for the morning and then avoid looking at the time again.
Don’t stress! New routines will kick in, but putting to much emphasis on them can cause stress and less sleep. Worrying is the worst thing you can do and is worse than not sleeping. Not sleeping just makes you tired, and you’ve been tired before, but worrying about sleep makes you stressed, anxious and low. Realise that sleep is not the only thing you can do to make back to school a success. If anyone in the family has a bad night’s sleep, try to leave the bad night behind you and focus on the day ahead!
If you are feeling stressed about back to school and the family’s sleep routine, why not sign up to my free sleep webinar?
In this free webinar you will learn:
The only three things you need to understand to sleep well (and this doesn’t include a new mattress, eye masks or giving up caffeine)!
Why sleep hygiene won’t improve your sleep, and how it could be making your sleep worse
Techniques to fall asleep faster and wake less in the night
How I can help you to fall asleep easily and sleep through the night so that you can live your life to the fullest