The summer holiday's are almost upon us and I am hoping for the best summer ever!
We are now getting back to a place where we can all enjoy getting out and doing things again. After a few years of us not having that freedom, I am sure we all have a new found appreciation for being able to be out with our families enjoying various activities.
We are all going to be so excited about being able to travel, see friends , and do all of the things that we used to take for granted, I know that we are more than likely to be less strict when it comes to our Little Darling's bedtimes.
No judgement, I get it and I am probably going to throw some rules out of the window too. I am a Mum of a 4 year old and I want us to have the best summer ever!
This is where I will tell you that even just a few days of a lot of excitement and not a lot of sleep can leave our Little Darling's in a mood where they are not able to enjoy themselves no matter what amazing activity is planned.
Therefore, I have put together these top tips so that your family can get the most out of summer but also still maintain a level of healthy sleep habits.
You will have probably noticed that the morning's now are starting at 4.30am in terms of brightness. This also means that the sun does not go down until afetr your Little Darling's bedtime. We all are used to artificial light now but the sun is the primary factor in our circadian rhythm and it is therefore, much harder to fall to sleep when it is still light outside.
An easy solution to this problem is to keep the sun out of your Little Darling's bedroom, which sounds easy right?
When I say it should be dark, I mean dark, pitch black. Even a tiny amount of sunlight coming through the curtains can massively affect your Little Darling's ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Blackout Blinds come in various forms now and can be suited to a wide variety of tastes and budgets.
Outdoor Daytime Activity
We definitely look to avoid sunlight when it is time for your Little Darling's bedtime. However, during the day, being outside and into the sunlight can truly help with your child's sleep at night.
Natural sunlight provides us with vitamin D, which helps regulate our moods, it stimulates cortisol production, which despite its bad reputation as the “stress hormone” is very beneficial at the right time and in the right amounts, and it promotes serotonin production as well. Serotonin is AMAZING for your Little Darlings'. It boosts their mood during the day, and at night, the pineal gland converts it to melatonin, which helps them get to sleep. So the more sunlight, especially early-morning sunlight, they can get, the easier they’ll be able to drift off at night.
If you follow me on any social media platforms, you may be thinking, “You always talk about the importance of sticking to routines! Does it really change in the summer?”
You are right, it is so important to have a consistent routine. It plays a vital role in your child’s sleeping habits. This does NOT change over the summer holidays.
The issue is that mostly everything else in your routine does change. You may have travel plans, day trips, summer camps or even just days off at home. These usually involve curve balls in your daily routine.
I am not suggesting that there is a lot of room for change but there is of course a little room for leniency on routines when it comes to the magic of summer. I do not want to deprive my child or your of that.
I would just keep in mind that it truly does not take long for problems to start to snowball. Not enough sleep one night can lead to being overtired the next night which then makes it more challenging to get your child to have a good night's sleep the next which then snowballs to one very overtired and fraught child.
If you’re going to make an allowance for a later bedtime, I would look to balance it out with one or two days and nights of regular routine after. This will stop things from getting out of control and help ensure that your child’s happy and well-rested to enjoy making magical summer holiday memories which they will cherish for years to come.
Watch What You Eat
Junk food is definitely something we all love during the summer. Hot days are so much more enjoyable with ice cream vans, BBQs, summer parties, and day trips to the seaside.
However, simple carbohydrates which are often found in foods at these occasions can affect your Little Darling's sleep. High carb diets can increase the amount of times your child will wake in the night as well as reduce the amount of deep sleep they are likely to have. This will often lead to your child feeling lethargic and low mood the next day.
I know also that when your child is at home the amount of times they ask for a snack is ridiculous so I recommend that you have healthy snacks on hand.
One trick is to pack up a ''lunch box'' and give it to your child. It can have snacks, drinks and lunch but let them know that this is it for the day. Once that is gone, they need to wait until team time.
This gives them a sense of responsibility but also keeps you sane from the million snack requests.
Get Ready for School Early
Please forgive me for even mentioning the end of summer before it has even began but I think it is useful to have the return to school planned so that you are prepared come September.
If during the summer your Little Darling has gotten into a routine of later bedtime and later mornings then that first morning back to school or even that first week is going to be a challenge for you all.
I find it is better to ease them back to their regular schedule by doing this over a few weeks.
The best way to do this is by moving bedtime up by 15 minutes every two to three nights. So if your Little Darling is now going to bed about an hour later than they would during the school year, you’ll want to allow between 8 to 12 days to get them back on track before the first day of school. That way, they’ll be rested and ready to get back into the standard routine right from day one.
I hope you all have a wonderful, magical summer, full of fun, friends, and all the magical experiences you could wish for.
DO YOU HAVE 15 MINUTES TO CHAT ABOUT HOW WE CAN SOLVE SLEEP? I'VE GOT A SPOT TO TALK WITH YOU! FIND A TIME HERE: