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Back To School: Painless Bedtime Tips for Families

January 12, 2018


Back To School: Painless Bedtime Tips for Families

Hello 2018! Are you and your family ready to tackle the year ahead? With the start of the new school term just around the corner, many parents are dreading the notion of getting their kids back in a sleeping routine after the long summer holiday. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be a painful experience. All you need is a little patience, creativity and planning. Here are a few of our favourite bedtime tips for families:

Power Down the Devices

Devices like TVs, smartphones, tablets and desktop computers emit light from the blue end of the spectrum. Thanks to many years of human evolution, our brains see this type of light as ‘daylight’, which stimulates our bodies into a wakeful state. This is great if it is indeed 8am and time to shine, but not exactly ideal if it’s 8pm and time to wind down. Switch off all devices at least an hour prior to bedtime to ensure that everyone is ready to go to bed. Instead, read a book or listen to the radio. This may seem drastically old-school, but it works.

Eat For Sleep

Summer holidays are all about indulgence, which is why it can be a little tricky to get back into the healthy swing of things come term time. However, this is another way in which you can smooth the way to a less disruptive end-of-day routine. Cut back on the sweet stuff closer to bedtime. Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. A high-fibre dinner is associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep - the more you eat, the better you sleep, as per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin (a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness), so get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa. Additionally, fish (especially salmon, halibut and tuna) contains loads of vitamin B6, which your body requires to to manufacture melatonin, according to an article published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

Assess Your Sleeping Environment

Both children and adults are more likely to enjoy a restful night’s sleep in a cooler, well-ventilated room. In the warm summer months a ceiling- or standing fan is a great way to cool down a room while providing some soothing white noise to boot. Additionally, make sure that each member of your family has the correct bedding and mattress to facilitate a good night’s sleep. Every person has different comfort requirements - some are very tall, others sleep ‘hot’ and need a mattress that allows for proper airflow. There are also preferences in terms of hard, soft or plush mattresses. Take the time to figure out what each family member needs and invest in the proper sleeping surface to pave the way to fuss-free bedtimes.

These are just a few of the ways in which you can make bedtime a pleasant experience. Sleep is incredibly important for young, growing minds (and adult minds as well!), so be sure to prioritise it in your home to ensure that everyone is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning.


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