Whether you’re on a break from classes yourself or are just enjoying not having to wake up and take the kids to school, it’s easy to overdo the sleeping in during the summer months. But letting your usual sleep schedule slip over the summer can have major impacts on your health and well-being. An out-of-whack schedule means getting less sleep, feeling less rested, and missing out on tons of summer fun. Not to mention it makes getting back into school-mode in the fall that much more difficult!
So don’t give in to the temptation to sleep the summer away. Try these tricks for maintaining your usual sleep schedule through the vacation season!
Make Changes Gradually
Of course, it’s not realistic to expect that everyone will be up and at-em by 7 on the dot every morning, or ready for bed by 8. So take some time to see what a realistic schedule looks like for your family. Maybe bedtime and wakeup call are both pushed an hour later, and maybe lunchtime will have to fall at a different time than it would when the kids were in class. Small changes are fine, but let everyone ease into them gradually.
During the first week or two, make adjustments to the family schedule in 10-minute increments until your routine falls into a more sustainable timeframe. Sudden adjustments to routine are the quickest way to mess up your internal clock and make sleeping soundly more difficult.
Keep Electronics Off Limits
If cell phones and other electronics aren’t allowed in bedrooms on weeknights, they shouldn’t be allowed in the summer either. The blue light that screens give off disrupts melatonin production, and can ruin even the best-maintained sleep schedule. And if you and the kids get in the habit of spending late nights on the computer over the summer, chances are you’ll struggle to break that habit when school starts. If you stay disciplined about nighttime electronic use, making sure phones and computers are off an hour before bed, you’ll stay sleeping that much better all through the year.
Limit Late-Night Snacks
The same goes for the nighttime munchies. Without the structure of school keeping mealtimes on track, it’s easy to push dinner off until later at night or to start snacking in the evenings. But eating just before bed can ruin your appetite for the next day and cause problems like indigestion and insomnia. Your last meal of the day should be no less than 2 hours before bedtime, to give your body plenty of time to digest and shift into bedtime mode.
Sluggishness is one of the biggest enemies of a good night’s sleep—without getting your blood pumping during the day, you’ll be left with tons of extra energy at the end of the day. If the kids are used to running around at recess but stay parked on the couch during summer afternoons, chances are their sleep will suffer. And if you go on a jog every morning before school starts, don’t stop for summer’s sake! Plan activities to get the whole family active during the day and your sleep schedule will stay on track.
There’s nothing wrong with a lazy summer day every now and again, but sticking to a regular sleep schedule between now and autumn will help you make the most of the season. Of course, you can’t count on getting a good night’s rest without the right mattress to support you. Stop by our store and check out our selection to keep you sleeping soundly all year round!