We know, you’re probably not ready to talk back to school yet. Or maybe you are. Either way, in just a few short weeks, back to school mode will be in full swing and it will be time to get your family back to a more scheduled routine. We’ve talked before about how important it is to plan ahead when it comes to sleep. The night before school is not the best time to get your kids back into a good bedtime routine with appropriate bedtimes! And it’s not just the kids. Parents need time to get back to school ready too. But as you start to get your sleep schedules and back to school routines in place, do you have what you need to support a successful back to school sleep plan?
We’re talking about a new kind of back to school shopping list – the back to school SLEEP shopping list! In order to support your child’s success at school, they need the proper tools, right? Well, the same principle can be put to work when it comes to sleep. Back to school is an excellent time to audit both your child’s sleep environment and sleep hygiene, in order to ensure they have what they need to get the sleep they need.
Building Your Back To School Sleep Shopping List
Just as with back to school supplies, your back to school sleep shopping list will vary based on the age of your child. However, all of the items listed below can prove to be great supports for a restorative night’s sleep.
- A proper alarm clock (not one that is part of a smart device)
- A family tech docking station so that smart phones and iPads are not charged in a child’s room.
- Pillows – when is the last time your child had new pillows? Pillows should be changed out every few years.
- Mattress – how old is your child’s mattress? In addition to the mattress losing its firmness over time, as your child’s weight changes, their old mattress may no longer be the right type to properly support them.
- Black out blinds – helps get younger kids to bed on time, even if it is still light out and helps teenagers sleep in (yes, it is true, they do need that sleep!)
- Bedding – having the right sheets can really make a difference. If your child is naturally hot or cold, make sure that their bedding isn’t causing them to overheat or to be too cold, resulting in more frequent night wakings. In addition, ask them what type of look they want. Let them help create their relaxing sleep environment as a way to reinforce how important sleep is for their bodies and minds.
- Books and other quiet activities – if you want your child to have some quiet time to wind down before bed, help them gather the tools they might need. Auditing your child’s book case is a great thing to do before back to school so that you know there are reading level and interest appropriate books on their shelf.
- Pajamas – we can’t be the only ones that all of a sudden notice that their child’s pajamas are way too small. When you are doing that back to school shopping, don’t forget about pajamas! September and October can be tricky months as the nights do get colder but there can still be warmer temperatures too. Be sure your child has comfortable pajamas for the seasonal temperatures.
- Other sleep support tools – things like humidifiers and white noise machines can really help improve a sleep environment. If your child wakes easily to sounds in the house or deals with allergies or congestion, add the right tools to make their sleep environment more comfortable. These additions can go a long way in helping them be better rested in the morning.
So as your picking up indoor shoes, lunch bags and other items needed for back to school, don’t forget to include items that will support your child’s sleep. Sleep is an important pillar of health. When your child is well rested, they will be able to concentrate better, be more focused and have a better chance at having a successful school year.