MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — This is the time of year when many parents try to get their school-aged kids back into sleep routines.
Open Door Health Center Director of Behavioral Health Ann Thompson M.S. L.M.F.T., says there are several things families can start doing now to get students back into their school year sleep schedules.
One tip is to create a time and space for kids to unwind and tell you about their day.
“So after they come home all riled up from school, trying to tell you about their day, give them the space to do that, so that they don’t lay down at night and think about it after that,” Thompson said.
Limiting screen time is also an effective way to get them back in their sleeping routine. Thompson recommends taking away devices at least an hour before bed time, or longer for younger students.
Screen time can also be replaced by screen-free, calming activities. Thompson suggests reading, coloring or doing a puzzle.
Lastly, Thompson recommends using the bed time routine as a time to develop sensory bonds between students and their guardians, which will help kids understand that they have someone to turn to.
“Especially for younger kids, creating that attachment is imperative,” Thompson said. “That might include you laying down with them and reading, stroking their hair, putting their hair in a braid after bath time, putting lotion on. Those kind of things that are sensory and help them to calm and soothe and build attachment.”