Getting your kids back into a sleep routine

Better sleep routines for children

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Okay, so parents, are you like me when is comes to summer and bedtimes concerning our kids? Do you allow your kids to have free reign, staying up late, no bedtime,  with no set "rules" in place (well rules within reason, of course)?

In our household that's what we do. We take a break off of routine, but getting our kids back on a normal sleep schedule, after the "freedom-filled" summer season is over, can be quite challenging.

I recently spent time with Dr. Jennifer Squires, Pediatrician with Novant Health, who shared some tips on how to not only help our kids back on schedule, but also offered some advice to helping us parents do the same.

  1. Getting our kids back on a regular sleep schedule should began two weeks prior to the beginning of the school year. Two weeks is ample time for our kids to readjust to proper sleep habits.
  2. Eliminate mid-day naps. My kids often sneak in a nap returning home from school. What this does is disrupts their sleep habit keeping them up longer at night.
  3. When getting our kids back on a sleep schedule, it is important to monitor their diets. Believe it or not, some foods contain high levels of caffeine, and others high sugars, and both can aid in sleepless nights.
  4. Ensure that your child is not taking energy drinks. This is a no-no and the results can bring an imbalance to your child’s sleep pattern.
  5. Remove technology out of your child’s room. Yes, this is where the fight will begin. However, it is to their benefit that these items (tablets, laptops, cell phones…etc) are removed so that your child can focus on sleep and less on personal and social engagement.

It is also important to keep in mind that not every child, and age group is the same. The National Sleep Foundation conducted a study, and provided valuable information on the proper amount of sleep needed based off of your child's age.

Remember, by simply following these five steps you will make a major investment into the success of your child. To your child's success, and may they "sleep tight"!

- Coach LaMonte