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The start of the new academic year often brings blaring alarm clocks, rushed mornings and general irritability. Avoid this by giving you and your family time to adjust to a new sleep schedule gradually. When the whole family wakes up on the right side of the bed, it sets the tone for a successful year ahead!
Scale Back Slowly
If you are used to going to bed at midnight all summer long, you will certainly have trouble suddenly going to bed at 8 p.m. To avoid unnecessary tossing and turning for hours on end, start by adjusting your bedtime by no more than 30 minutes each day. Remain at each phase until your body catches up to the changes.
Cut the Caffeine
Not only does caffeine make it harder for you to fall asleep, it also disrupts deep sleep. This is because caffeine promotes alertness, acting as a stimulant that suppresses sleep-inducing melatonin. In order to get a restful sleep, avoid consuming caffeine up to six hours before bedtime. If you like something hot and soothing to drink before bed, try herbal tea instead!
Lights from our phones, tablets and televisions promote wakefulness, telling our bodies to perk up and be alert. When trying to get back on schedule with sleep, it is important to shut off all electronics before bed and make your nightstand a gadget-free zone. Cozying up with a good book is much better for your sleep health than scrolling through your phone.
Say No to Snooze
Just as you gradually adjusted your bedtime, do the same with your wake time. Each day, wake up 30 minutes earlier until you wake up at your ideal time. No matter how bad you want to hit that snooze button, don’t do it! It will only make it harder to wake up, and you’ll be no further ahead.
Be patient when adjusting your family’s sleep schedule! When children become accustomed to the carefree summer months, falling back into a routine can bring its challenges. See it as an opportunity to spend more quiet time bonding together before bed and emphasize the positive opportunities that back-to-school brings.