As National Sleep In Day approaches (October 25, the day the clocks go back and we all get an extra hour in bed) The Sleep Council is encouraging British slumbertime with tips to help parents and young children cope with the change.
“Parents everywhere despair when the clocks alter and wreak havoc on sleep routines,” says Lisa Artis, of The Sleep Council.
“And it’s not just the child who can struggle to adjust – there is the knock-on effect of sleep deprived parents who are suddenly re-adjusting to wakefulness after a few months of settled nights.”
Luckily there are things parents can do to quickly restore the peace.
- When the clocks first go back, mornings are lighter. Make sure bedrooms are kept dark with good quality black-out blinds or curtains.
- Gradually alter bedtime by around 10 minutes over a few days beforehand to adjust to the new time.
- Maintain bedtime routines ie getting ready for bed in the same order, for example, pyjamas on, tooth brushing, toilet, bedtime story.
- Turn off all screens at least an hour before bedtime.
- Offer a milky, warm drink to encourage sleepiness and avoid stimulating food and drink in the hours before bedtime.
- This is a good time to consider whether or not your child might need a new bed. If they have had a recent growth spurt, their current bed may not be supportive or big enough any more.
The Sleep Council has a free guide for parents packed with helpful tips and advice on establishing good sleeping habits to last a lifetime. The Good-Night Guide for Children is available from The Sleep Council by calling 0800 018 7923 or visiting www.sleepcouncil.org.uk