Don’t Let Summer Break Spoil Family Sleep Patterns

With the arrival of summer break, American school children no longer need to rouse themselves before daybreak to catch the big yellow bus, but just because the rigid schedule of the school year is over doesn’t mean your family schedule should be too loose.

Schools around the country have just finished their instructional year or are about to.  And, between the lack of a strict wake-up time and the longer days of summer, many families find that their children quickly and easily slide into a pattern where they go to bed late and then sleep until noon.  If that weren’t bad enough, various activities can lead to children having different schedules every day.  We call it “sleep anarchy.”

While no one expects that families will keep the exact schedule during the summer as during the school year, it’s best to find a happy medium, but then avoid sleep anarchy by sticking to your modified schedule even on the weekends.

While you’re assessing your family schedule, it’s a good idea to do a summer bedding check.  Your sheets, blankets and pillows can make a major difference in your summer comfort.  Bedclothes this time of year should be made of lightweight and breathable fabrics.  You can even consider stocking your family’s beds with products that keep your body’s temperature regulated while you’re sleeping.

Finally, if you’re having trouble sleeping, try these summertime tips to get a better night’s rest.

  • Try to create a cool, dark and quiet sleep environment for your bedroom; the ideal room temperature for sleeping is 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Avoid hot, heavy meals at dinnertime. A rich dinner can come back to haunt you in the middle of the night, especially in the summer.
  • Take a cool bath or shower before bedtime.
  • If you grab a summer nap, a quick snooze of 20-30 minutes between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. will provide refreshment without spoiling your regular night’s sleep.

Have a specific sleep problem?  Enter it into our search bar at the top of the page or use our contact form to ask us about it!