Back To School Sleep
Like it or not, the crazy days of summer are slowly winding down. While the last few weeks of summer vacation are upon us, kids across the country will soon be headed back to school. ‘Tis the season for new school routines, juggling the extra-curriculars and reestablishing the family schedule. There’s no doubt that all of these adjustments can be stressful on parents and kids alike, but there is one trick of the trade that can save you and your little ones from falling behind. Quite simply, it’s time for bed.
Like pre-season sports, the body needs to be conditioned to go from summer to school sleep patterns. So, like a pre-season athlete, students (and parents) should start re-establishing the school sleep routine a little at a time, starting about two weeks before the first day of school. The National Sleep Foundation suggests parents start adjusting bedtimes and wake-up calls gradually over a few weeks so that kids don’t suffer from “clock shock” once school is back in session.
In addition to adjusting your kids’ internal clock, changes to their sleep environment can also help give them a head start on back to school sleep. Check out PureCare’s “Back To School, Back To Sleep” giveaway, August 17th. -21st, for a chanceto infuse your child’s sleep environment with the sweet scents and calming effects of Aromatherapy. Winners will receive 2 Aromatherapy pillow protectors, a full set of scented sachets and a $50 Target gift card for back to school supplies.
- Stick with the school sleep schedule (even on the weekends) for at least two weeks before school starts
- Create a relaxing sleep environment and a quiet nighttime routine a half-hour before bedtime
- Make sure your child's room is a "media and electronics free zone"
- No food and caffeine two hours before bed
With a little focus and planning, back to school will be as easy as 1, 2, 3.
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The National Sleep Foundation
We’ve all heard about dangerous side effects caused from lack of sleep. From driving drowsy (the culprit in over 100,000 auto crashes a year in the US*) to accidents and injuries on the job, sleep deprivation is an expensive and deadly side effect of our busy lives. And adults aren’t the only victims. Lack of proper sleep effects the grades, behavior and the ability to complete simple tasks for hundreds of thousands of children in the US each year.
Luckily we continue to gain better insight into sleep deprivation through countless studies and statistics. Organizations like The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) are solely dedicated to improving sleep health and safety. By focusing on education, public awareness and advocacy of healthy sleep, the NSF is making huge strides in the war on sleeplessness.
Visit NSF’s sister site, Sleep.org, for great yearly sleep study statistics, take the Sleep IQ Quiz, or get tips on the importance of sleep during the teenage years. You can also browns a huge selection of hand picked NSF sleep products to help make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary. Along with great gadgets like the Dohm Sound Conditioner and Sound Asleep room darkening shades, PureCare’s entire line of clinically proven mattress and pillow protectors are all official products of the National Sleep Foundation.
Having trouble falling asleep (and staying there)? Try out these tips and tricks from the NSF:
- Stick to the same sleep schedule. Whether it’s Friday night or Monday morning, try keeping your bedtime and wake up call consistent in order to regulate your body's clock. Avoiding naps (especially in the afternoon) will also help keep you on track.
- Exercise, even a light workout, is better than no activity at all.
- Design your sleep space for optimal relaxation by eliminating light, noise and other distractions. Find the right mattress and pillows for you - you entire sleep surface should be comfortable and supportive.
- Alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine can disrupt sleep. Avoid eating large (or spicy) meals for two to three hours before bedtime. Try a light snack 45 minutes before bed if you’re still hungry.
- Your body and mind need time to calm down after a long day. Finding a relaxing bedtime ritual is a great way to set the stage for deep, restful sleep.
- If you can't sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired. Eliminate work materials, computers and televisions from your pre-sleep routine.
* The National Highway Traffic Safety AdministrationRead More & Comment »