Friday 21 August 2015

What The Summer Holidays Does to Our Sleeping Pattern

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say the routine goes to pot when the kids are off school. We are far too busy enjoying the freedom of Summer holidays to be worrying about when to eat, what time to go to bed etc. I mean the late nights mean lots of lay ins, I've really been enjoying the peace and quiet each morning when I get time by myself as the kids carry on snoring longer than usual.

But this change in our sleeping pattern paves the way for some resistance when it's time to get back into routine ready for the children returning to school. Can't say I blame them because I'm not looking forward to the pile of clothes that awaits me, you know the ones that need labelling.

I've always expressed how important routine is and as much as the late nights and even later mornings can be fun, I've begun to feel the affects of the irregularities and by the bickering that's being going on between my girls, I'd say they are feeling it too.

Silentnight recognise the importance of sleep and how routine can really help people achieve this too so they've teamed up with physiologist and sleep therapist, Dr Nerina to offer some helpful tips on how to reintroduce that routine with minimal stress.

1. Start to introduce technology-free time in the evenings

Research has shown that by having a constant stream of light enter our eyes before we go to sleep, we are actually telling our brains that we want to be awake. An hour or so before children go to bed, rule out any blue light. This means no TV, tablets or mobile phones. The bedroom should be a technology free environment.

2. Gradually reintroduce earlier bedtimes

An ideal bedtime for pre-teens would be no later than 8.30pm, gradually shift bedtime earlier over the course of a few days to allow children to adjust.

3. A calming pre-sleep routine

The few hours before bed can be just as important as actual bedtime. Relaxing baths with lavender, a milky drink or reading are great ways to help children wind down and feel ready for bed.

4. Have a chat

Heading back to school or starting a new one, can be worrying for some children, and leave them feeling anxious. Talk to your child about any concerns they may have before bedtime, and encourage simple yoga or meditation by repeating a calming word or by helping them with their breathing techniques, including breathing deeply from the stomach.

5. Create a sleep friendly bedroom

Bedrooms need to be sleep friendly and this means a cool environment. Freshly laundered bedding, possibly lavender fragranced, can make the room feel very calming and relaxing. Again, technology free bedrooms are a must!

6. Exercise is key

It is scientifically proven that exercise can help you get a better night’s sleep. Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways of reducing stress hormone levels (mainly adrenaline) thus enabling you to sleep more deeply. A short walk with children after the evening meal would be the perfect exercise to help them wind down.

7. Good nutritional habits 

To help us sleep we need a good balance of the hormones serotonin and melatonin in our system. Sending children off to school with a balanced lunchbox will help to promote a healthy hormone balance. Things such as chicken, cheese, tuna, eggs, nuts and milk are all high in serotonin and are lunchbox friendly.

For more information and helpful tips you can visit Silentnight, here you will find facts, advice and much more.

Do you carry on routine over the holidays? Do you have any tips that you can share, I'd love for you to share them in the comments below.


This post in collaboration with Silentnight
Linking up wih the #BinkyLinky


  1. When our twins were babies we tried so many different things to help them go to sleep. Thankfully at three and a half years old now, they're pretty good sleepers! Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinky

  2. I am lucky with my daughter that she loves her bed, if left to herself she would either be awake to really late, or just fall asleep early. She is older though so understands she needs to go to bed earlier, we introduce it the week before she goes back #BinkyLinky

  3. We need to introduce earlier bedtimes over the next two weeks. It gets later and later at ours in the holidays!

  4. Great list to encourage a routine that works for you thanks for linking to the Binkylinky


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