Summer is officially over and it’s time for the Little Ones to go back to school. We’ve…
Over the school holidays sleeping schedules can become disrupted, this can be especially true for teenagers as they tend to use the time off to sleep in. Therefore, when it comes to going back to school it can prove difficult for them to wake up and go to sleep when they need to. In general, it is advised that teenagers get 8- 10 hours of sleep per night. Over the holidays this may increase or decrease but it is important to try and stick to as much of a routine as possible in order to help them ease back into school. To help your teen wake up refreshed ready to go back to school, here are our top four tips:
Many teens will use the summer holidays to catch up on sleep and lie in, however, this can actually do more harm than good. You’ll find it hard to encourage them to stick to a wake-up schedule whilst they are off school, but it is a good idea in the last couple of weeks to encourage them to get back into a routine. Two weeks before school starts, suggest they begin to bring their bedtime forward and set their alarm for earlier in the morning. If this is a struggle, suggest they gradually adjust their sleep and wake times to gently ease back into a routine. This way it won’t be a shock to the system having to get up on the first day back at school.
It is quite well known that an important factor in getting a good night’s sleep is preparation. Winding down at night helps to prepare the body for sleep and relaxes you so that when you do get into bed, you should fall asleep more easily. Things your teenager can do to wind down on a night are; take a warm bath, read a book, listen to soothing music. Anything that is relaxing for them can be incorporated as long as it doesn’t involve a screen; such as TV, phones and tablets.
As mentioned, watching TV and looking at a phone or tablet screen can hinder sleep. The blue light that is emitted from screens can have a negative effect on the circadian rhythm and the body’s natural sleep cycle. The blue light tricks the body into thinking it is daytime and therefore hinders both falling and staying asleep. For this reason, many people choose to limit their teens’ screen time on an evening, as it helps to wind down and prepare for sleep. Limiting screen time can also help encourage other activities such as reading or meditating.
Getting enough exercise throughout the day is a great way to encourage better sleep quality at night. This is especially important throughout the school holidays as children and teens aren’t spending their days at school. Wherever possible you can encourage your teenager to get outside and do some light exercise, from going on a walk with friends, bouncing on a trampoline or even heading to an outdoor swimming pool. With exercise, it is important to remember not to do it too close to bedtime as this can result in excess energy which will prevent sleep.
The summer holidays are a time for fun and enjoying the time off school. As they draw to a close it is important to begin easing your teenager back into a routine, to prepare them for the new school year.