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The-Benefits-Of-Creating-A-Sleep-Routine

The Benefits Of Creating A Sleep Routine

Getting ready to go back to school, or starting school, can be a very stressful period. Lunches have to be made, uniforms ironed, sleepy children have to be dragged out of bed! Now is the time for routines and structures to become the norm

Your child has probably become used to a lack of routine during the summer months, often going to bed at a late hour. However, now your child is going to school, we really recommend starting and continuing a sleep routine for your child.

What is a sleep routine?

  • A sleep routine is all about developing a schedule and sticking to it.
  • Creating routine and consistency, with wind-down time before bed.
  • Developing and maintaining a consistent bedtime routine.
  • Having a set time for bed each night.

Make sleep a priority for the whole family: You will reap the benefits both now, and into the future!

Why is a sleep routine important for your child?

  • It helps to ensure your child gets the sleep they need for growth and development.
  • A good sleep routine helps children retain the new information they learned during the day.
  • It helps them to memorise information, and improves concentration levels.
  • It increases energy, and decreases negative behaviour.
  • It decreases nightmares and night terrors, as overtiredness contributes to both of these.

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Why is a sleep routine beneficial for you?

  • It makes it easier for your child to get up in the morning, which in turn will make the morning routine smoother.
  • Quality time with your child each evening is a special time for both of you, as part of their sleep routine.
  • It helps you feel more in control of your very busy day, and creates a more calm atmosphere in the home.
  • It decreases negative interactions from developing, which can occur when your child gets overtired and cranky.
  • It ensures you can schedule some 'Me Time' in the evening, and helps you develop a healthy sleep routine of your own.

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How do you create a sleep routine for your child?

  • Commence a sleep routine approximately two weeks before your child starts school. This will allow time to establish a sleep routine without the added pressure of school in the morning.
  • Have wind down time approximately half an hour before bedtime.
  • During wind down, the environment should be calm. Turn off the TV and other distractions.
  • After wind down time, start the getting ready for bed process.
  • A simple example of a sleep routine would be a bath, followed by brushing teeth, pyjamas on, and then a story in bed.
  • Whatever routine works for both you and your child, stick with it!
  • Make it familiar to your child, so they know it means bedtime.
Read Next: How To Encourage your Child's Concentration

Do you have any tips for building your child's sleep routine? We'd love to hear.


About the Author

Fiona O’Farrell is a Paediatric Occupational Therapist, specialising in baby development, premature babies and is an experienced sleep consultant, validated by the department of health. For information on workshops and sleep consultations visit fionaofarrell.ie or Facebook. Call Fiona on 0879144323

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