Lockdown has hit us all hard – routines are harder to manage, no one knows what day it is, bedtimes have crept later and it’s harder to get up in the morning, plus we’re all feeling a little more anxious than normal.
And it’s not just adults, this is impacting on children just the same. And in these extraordinary times, it is fully understandable that sleep patterns may have changed.
The findings show that bedtimes have become later, anxiety levels have risen and there has been an increased use of screen time impacting on sleep.
The concern is how this will impact on youngsters when they return to school – and with some possibly returning from 1st June, it’s important to start getting kids bedtimes back on track – otherwise you may find you have a battle on your hands, and some very sleep deprived children!
The good news is that there are lots of things that families can start doing now in preparation.
TOP TIPS TO SUPPORT SLEEP
- Try to keep to a consistent bedtime/wake time. If things have drifted then start to move them slowly by about 15 minutes every few days until they are back on track.
- Be consistent, our body clocks thrive on routine. Having a set wake up time seven days a week is important.
- Try to encourage youngsters to get outside for at least half an hour each morning. Daylight supports our body clocks, helping us to wake up and suppress the sleep hormone.
- Make the hour before bunkbed a screen free zone. Screens produce a blue light that trick our bodies into thinking it is daylight and make us feel more alert.
- Dim the lights in the hour before bed to help youngsters to produce melatonin, this is the sleep hormone that helps us to nod off more easily.
- A bath (if they enjoy one) followed by a warm milky drink and reading them a book is a simple and effective wind-down. This gets children relaxed and ready for Single bunkbed.