I’m a sleep expert – here’s the 4 ways to get your kids back into their routine


AS kids go back to school it’s likely the excitement of the new term will leave them a bit wiped out.

But if they are still running around past their bedtime, it’s likely they’ll need help transitioning back into a routine.

1

Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier, until you hit school wake up time, and try and stick with it at the weekendCredit: Getty

Here, sleep expert Dr Sophie Bostock, reveals four ways you can get them back to their normal schedule.

1. Get used to an early start time

Dr Sophie stresses the importance of getting used to waking your kids up early and says to “stick with it at the weekend”.

“This is especially important for teenagers, who are natural night owls,” she says.

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“If they are are struggling to get going in the morning, make sure they get plenty of bright light, eat some breakfast and go for a short walk; light, food and movement all send a wake up call to the brain.”

2. Get your worries out in the open, but not right before bed

The process of writing down what is worrying you can be therapeutic for the whole family, the sleep guru explains.

Dr Sophie suggests setting aside around 20 minutes in the afternoon or early evening with older children to brainstorm what’s been keeping everyone awake.

She doesn’t suggest trying this with younger children as they might struggle to concentrate and be reflective.

She also urges parents to avoid having conversations with their kids about worries before bed. “Instead, focus on what made [everyone] happy that day, or things [everyone] looking forward to in the future.”

3. Get into the habit of having a good bedtime routine

Research shows that kids who have a strict bedtime and evening routine tend to have more and better quality sleep than those without a set routine.

A good routine would include bathing, reading, cuddling and lights out early, Dr Sophie says.

A set routine can also lead to better quality sleep than those without a set routine, she adds.

“Predictability and familiarity will help to calm the anxious mind, and improve your readiness for sleep.

“This works for adults, as well as their kids!” she explains.

4. Try the five finger breathing exercise to calm the mind

Dr Sophie has a shortcut which parents can use with their children to help them feel less anxious about the school day tomorrow and drift off.

“It’s a great way to slow the breath, calm the heart rate, and focus the mind using gentle touch,” the sleep expert says.

“During the exercise, focus on breathing in through the nose, as if you’re smelling a beautiful rose, and sighing out through the mouth.

“Spread out the fingers of 1 hand like a starfish.

“Take the index finger of the other hand, and rest it at the base of the thumb. As you trace up towards the tip of the thumb, breathe in, pause as you round the top, and then breathe out slowly as you trace to the base of the finger.

“Take another deep breath in through the nose as you slide up, pause, and breathe all the way out as you slide down.

“Breathe in, pause, and breathe all the way out.

Breathe in, and out.

“And notice how much calmer you feel”.

Meanwhile, parents were also told that children could be significantly more at risk of a deadly condition this month.

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New analysis revealed that children returning to school are four times more likely to being hospitalised for asthma in September compared to the previous month.

Last month, parents were warned of the sinister meaning behind the ‘back to school necklace’ TikTok trend.





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