Losing sleep over the back to school bedtime routine!? Sleep on these sleep tips and strategies!

Summer has come and gone and school is back into full swing! The transition can be tricky, especially bedtime on school nights. The consequences of inadequate sleep can cause daytime sleepiness, inattention at school, mood changes, impaired learning, memory and creativity! We realize that children sometimes have a hard time slowing down their engines. So here’s some snooze-worthy sleep tips to think about!

Consider the Environment

  • Noise Machine, Fan or Music (if you use music, try selecting one kind to build up the body’s association for the ‘time to sleep’)
  • Pull the curtains/shades or use a nightlight (as needed)
  • Try aromatherapy!
Decorations in the room?
  • Are they calming or visually alerting?

Create a Consistent Routine

  • Consider creating a visual routine
    (add pictures if necessary)

  • Consider limiting electronics, bright lights, loud music, sugar/caffeine, physical activity and playing before bed

  • Add in calming strategies into routine, below are a few tips to try:

  • Warm bath with a warm towel

  • Massage

  • Take 10 deep breaths

  • Weighted Blanket (contact your doctor or therapy provider to find out if this is a good fit for your child )

  • Read a book

  • Rocking

  • Yoga/stretching 5-10 minutes to calm the body

  • Drink a warm glass of milk

  • Contact your doctor about supplemental/medicine based sleep aides

Waking Up in the Morning

  • Alert the body by drawing the shades/blinds for natural lighting

  • Alert the body by eating and drinking a healthy breakfast!

  • If your child needs additional alerting strategies to arouse in the morning:

    • Try music!

    • Try movement-based activities to get engines running a little faster and ready for the day!

Remember whatever you choose to be consistent, patient and persistent 🙂 you’re doing great! Good luck and good night!

By: Christy Jo Moses, MS, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist