After a summer of late nights hanging out with friends, and laid back mornings doing whatever you want, it’s time to get back on a school schedule.

In today’s society, we place a lot of pressure on ourselves to be the perfect parent and to be ready when school starts. This might include scrolling through Pinterest to find the newest and cutest ways to pack a lunch for little Tommy—and we can’t forget the fall clothing and school supplies. How many glue sticks and tissues again?

Yet, we never think of sleep. Why is that? Without healthy sleep, there is no health. That is the foundation, the building block, for everything else.

With constant opportunities to be visually entertained for 24 hours a day, it’s no wonder that, as bedtime approaches, so many of us have trouble shutting off our brains. Creating a relaxing environment, with dim lights and an ambient sound will assist the body to naturally want to sleep.

There are 2 simple actionable steps you can implement tonight to make morning wake-ups for school easier and bedtime a breeze. The first step is to use technology properly.

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I know, I know – you’re thinking, “Wait, technology is bad for sleep. It says so in all the papers and Google findings.” Yes, you are correct. Technology that emits blue light is known to suppress your melatonin levels (sleep hormone) drastically. But you can use tech to your advantage when using it properly.

There are some apps on the market which contain meditations, sleep stories, and simple, calming sounds for the bedtime routine. I use the sleep stories and meditations from an app called “Calm” and for my kids, they love the app “Moshi Twilight”. When toddlers and kids try to stall bedtime, and you’ve already read your own stories, try turning on the app or some lullaby music, placing the screen facing down and by the door (keeping it away from the child’s eyesight). It’s a great way to have the body begin to unwind in the dark.

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The second step is to re-adjust bedtime gradually. You can begin 1-2 weeks prior to when school starts adjusting bedtime approximately 15 minutes earlier every 1-2 days. This means that if bedtime currently is 9:00PM, start with a 8:45PM goal of sleeping, and in 1-2 days, increase by another 15 minutes. And so on.

Now if school has started already or you don’t have 1 to 2 weeks to prepare, no
worries. Implement an early bedtime for 1-2 weeks until you start to notice that morning wake ups are easier (less crankiness) and bedtime is becoming more or a breeze.

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Carolina Romanyuk is a certified pediatric sleep consultant, specializing in sleep hygiene and behavioral coaching. In addition to being a nationally recognized speaker and educator, Romanyuk is also the author of the international children’s book, “Good Night Melanie! Good Morning Cory!”. She works with families worldwide through virtual and in-person sessions.

Don’t Let Your Fellow Parents Sleep On This Story: Be Sure And Share To Social MediaRepresentative photo by Winnie T, CC

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