I’m a big fan of sleep. I like it. Of course, I don’t get enough of it; so I spend a large portion of my time distance-worshiping it, but that’s okay. Gives me something to dream about, right?
Largely, I have been successful at passing my love of sleep onto my kiddos. While naps have never been their strong suit, since a young age they have done a reasonably fair job at conking out for the night at a reasonable time and logging a decent night’s rest. We’ve gotten into a groove and it works…except for when it doesn’t.
When our schedule gets disrupted, when we get off track, when we spend our days running wild, things get a bit dicey. Aka, welcome summer. I have talked before about how I love summer, but all it’s sweet excitement can be a bit draining. We’ve had a blast in these sunny days, but all our non-stop activity and pushed-back bedtimes have taken their toll. That pretty little sleep schedule we had down pat? I’m switch between sobbing in the corner over the loss of it and hyperventilating into a paper bag about my son’s start of Kindergarten–it’s glorious times around these parts, friends.
We’ve got a week. We have one week to get our crap together and try to recapture our routine. Gracious knows I’m already worked up enough about sending my son off into the great, big, scary world of school, the last thing I need to is to worry that he will be too tired to focus.
Knowing this, I’m taking the tips in this article, Promoting Healthy Sleep for Kids, by Val Jones, MD on the OTC Safety website to heart. I’m proud to know that we do some things well–we always stick to the bath/teeth/story/prayer/sleep routine with our kids before bedtime and we never resort to giving our kids OTC cold and flu medicine to help them sleep (as tempting as this may be sometimes, the unwanted side effects aren’t worth it–save the meds for when your kids are sick).
But there are definitely things we need to work on (evidence above). Aside from our major goal to get our kids in bed at the same time every night as we prepare for school, we need to work hard on limiting their screen time. Since my kids have largely stopped napping, I do think it’s healthy for us to have an post-lunch rest time, but hanging out with the iPad all afternoon isn’t the way to go. Rarely do my kids watch TV at night, but despite our heavy crushing on Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, it might be smart to cut down our early-morning viewing as well. The basic truth: that the more active kids are during the day, the better they sleep at night.
So wish me the best, readers. I’m going in. I’m committing to the week of getting ourselves sorted so we can hit Kindergarten and preschool with a running, well-rested start!
****I am compensated as an OTCsafety blogging ambassador for this post, but my opinion are my own.****
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