School is upon us, and I know many of us have strayed from our bedtime routines, or have never had one before. With school right around the corner now is a great time to get on this. One of the most common things you hear from parents when days are bad is “they did not well sleep last night”, “we stayed up too late”, or “they’re just tired”. I get it, life happens and sometimes we do not make it to bed on time. Or sometimes kids are just in that mood where going to sleep is going to be a battle.
That is exactly why bedtimes that are set in stone are so, so important. It may not seem like a big deal to some, or may seem like something that can be different times for various reasons. No! Bedtime is the exact opposite. Small children need their sleep. Hell, we all need our sleep. I have included a chart from the national sleep foundation for the amounts of time that children and adults need to sleep to have a properly working body and be at their best.
Making bedtime a routine is a must. It may seem daunting if it is not something that your family or you do. First, decide what’s most important to your family for this time; bath, story, some T.V., brushing teeth, sweeping the room for monsters, picking out clothes for tomorrow. There are so many ways to approach this. No matter what your pick you just need to stick to it, and the times. If you want your kids in bed by 8 make it happen. If you want them fast asleep by 9 then plan accordingly.
Having a bedtime routine isn’t just amazing for your children. It’s amazing for YOU too! Think of this structured free time you have just earned yourself each night. Maybe you want some wine and Netflix time, or maybe you want to read a bedtime story before sleeping too. Maybe you haven’t had much time for your significant other lately.
The possibilities are endless. I’m not saying every night will be peaches and cream. But having a set routine that you stuck to 99% of the time will make your life so much easier for many reasons. With well rested kids everyone’s immune system will be more aggressive, less sick days, happier kids, parents and teachers. How much we sleep each night has a direct domino effect for our whole day.
Lead Pre-Kindergarten Teacher