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4 Tips for Better Summertime Sleep

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Ah, summer.  Time to relax, spend time outdoors and throw routines out the window. Except sleep routines! It’s super easy to get caught up in the laid-back ways of summer, but if you’re too laid back with your children’s sleep schedule, it could cause big challenges down the road. So, how do you enjoy the season and also maintain healthy sleep habits this summer?  These tips for better summertime sleep will ensure summer fun but also ensure everyone is happy, healthy and well-rested.

Tip #1: Live a little

You’re probably thinking, “wait, that’s exactly the opposite of what you just said!” The key word here is “little.” 

Once you have a healthy sleeper we recommend living by the 80/20 rule.  80/90% of the time stick to your child’s routine and schedule, but the other 10/20% of the time you can be more relaxed. 

Life happens – there are parties, family visits, fireworks displays – and they should all be enjoyed. But, if you break from routine too much, you will start to have a very tired little one. I can tell you from experience, tired kiddos are no fun at all. 

You’ll know you’re overdoing it or stretching their schedule too much when your child starts to get extra irritable, fussy or hyperactive late in the day.

Crankiness or hyperactivity right around 4:30 – 5:00 pm is a signal to you that your little one is overtired. This means your child needs you to refocus on their routine and schedule at least for a few days. Also an earlier bedtime can help them to get better rested again.

Renee

The best part is once your child is a good sleeper, it is easier to get back on track from a few days of being off schedule.  It’s all about balance! This is key in maintaining healthy sleep habits this summer!

Tip #2: Here Comes The Sun

One of the biggest challenges with summer, when it comes to sleep, is prolonged daylight hours.  Not only is the sun setting later, but the farther east you live, the earlier the days start. 

We have all heard some version of – “the skies awake, so I’m awake” from our kids.  So, what can you do? Create a cave-like environment in your kids’ room. Invest in room darkening shades and curtains and make the room as dark as humanly possible.

Children’s eyes are especially sensitive to the sun and it is powerful cue to their body that it is time to be awake. A dark sleeping environment will:

  • help your child to fall asleep more easily at night
  • fall back asleep should they wake up early in the morning
  • settle easier for nap and put their sleep cycles together for better quality, longer naps

A dark sleep environment will make it much easier for your little one to sleep and meet their sleep needs. This is one of our favorite blackout solutions!

Tip #3: Block Outside Noise

If you don’t already have one, summer is a great time to introduce a sound machine to your child’s room.  A sound machine tuned to the white noise option can really help block outside noise. It can also help your child sleep though fireworks, a neighbor’s BBQ or just about anything else.  You can’t control everything around you, but you can make the best of a situation with the right tools. 

Tip #4: Keep It Cool

The best temperature for quality sleep is somewhere between 68-72 degrees. Usually cooler is better. If you don’t have central air conditioning or window A/C units, consider investing in a floor unit air conditioner to keep your child’s room cool and dark. 

When thinking about pajamas, think lightweight and cotton. Children that are too hot won’t sleep well.

With air conditioning, consider adding an extra layer – like a sleep sack or for children over 1 year, a light blanket to help regulate your child’s temperature.

For rooms without air conditioning and it’s really warm even with a fan – consider letting your little one sleep in just a diaper to stay comfortable. 

If you are struggling with sleep and these tips for better summertime sleep didn’t solve your problems, please reach out for a free 15-minute get to know you chat. Let’s talk about how we can help your family and determine if we are a good fit.

Have a tip that’s helped you maintain your little one’s sleep during the summer? We’d love to hear it! Tag us @bellalunasleep on IG and we’ll share our favorites. 

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