Your Kids Will Sleep A Lot This Summer -- It's Okay
Summer for kids means more time for fun — and for sleep. Here’s what you need to know about how sleep affects your kid’s body, and how you can help them get into a healthy sleep schedule.
Recharge Your Kid's Batteries
If you’re like most parents, mornings during the school year aren’t easy. You probably have to go shake your kid awake after their alarm fails to get them out of bed, and they shamble onto the school bus like a zombie. The truth is, only a small amount of kids get a healthy amount of sleep during the school year, and it’s no fault of their own.
Teens naturally need between 8 and 10 hours of sleep each night. For kids between ages 6 and 12, that number goes up to 9-12 hours. Summer is a great time to let your kid get the sleep their body misses during the school year. Don’t be afraid to let them sleep in!
Find the Right Rhythm
Everyone knows that you’re supposed to get the right amount of sleep — but did you know that your body has a preference about WHEN you clock those hours snoozing? Our bodies have natural sleep rhythms that tell us when we should feel tired, and when we have the energy to make it through the day.
The teenage body naturally prefers a sleep cycle that ends around 8-9am and begins around 10-11pm. Your kid might think that’s a pretty early bedtime, especially since the sun goes down so late during summer. A few late nights here and there won’t do lasting harm, but they should ideally settle into a consistent sleep schedule.
Stick to a Schedule
After a long summer of late nights, the last thing your kid wants to think about is getting back to their school sleep schedule. Getting back into the groove can be a challenge, but you can help them slowly and steadily work toward a healthier school year.
A few weeks before school begins, have your kid in bed 15 minutes early. Give them a few days to adjust to their new bedtime, then set it another 15 minutes earlier. Gradually working their sleep schedule back to accommodate their school schedule will take time, but with a little help from you they can tackle the new school year refreshed and full of energy!
If your child is having difficulty finding their natural sleep schedule, our Sleep Wake services might be able to help. Learn more about the services we offer.