Summer BedtimesAugust 3, 2017
The summer days are long and the bedtime question is inevitable: “Why do I have to go to bed if it is still light outside?”
Tips on Dealing with Summer Bedtimes
While many parents choose a later bedtime for summer, there really is no reason to change bedtime based on how light it is. Rather than telling your children that they go to sleep when it is dark out, explain to them that they have a bedtime – chosen based on their age and how much sleep you think they need to grow a healthy body – and that in the summer the bedtime remains the same but the sun stays out longer. While the question is logical, this doesn’t mean you have to shift the rules and routines.
Stick to the schedule.
- Try to be consistent. There will be special occasions in the summer and there will be a lot of temptation since it is lighter out and there is no need to wake up early for school. However, the best way to reduce the disruption of summer is to remain consistent and make fewer exceptions.
- When you do make an exception, let children know so that they don’t expect it over and over.
Try not to have summer bedtime and winter bedtime. Bedtime is just bedtime. If you find that the daylight makes it difficult, think about reducing late afternoon activities and moving routines to a bit earlier in the evening so that kids feel like they are getting more pre-bed downtime.
Find ways to make the sleeping area darker. Sometimes kids are sensitive to the light and placing blackout shades or taping cardboard to the boarders of the windows can make a big difference.
Just sticking to the pre-bedtime routine will help trigger sleepiness even if it is a bit lighter out.
As summer comes to an end, remember that it takes about a week or two to get used to a more structured bedtime and morning. If you know your kids have to be up earlier for school, start keeping the school schedule a bit before summer ends so that it won’t be too exhausting come September.