During the summer holidays the change in routine and light, warmer nights can often make sleep difficult. It can be even harder for children who don’t sleep well anyway. Our sleep team give their top tips for getting a good night’s sleep this summer.
- Keep the bedroom as dark as possible at bedtime. Well-fitted blackout blinds can be useful. This allows our natural melatonin to be produced.
- In hot weather, during the day keep windows shut and curtains closed to keep rooms cooler. Open the window in the evening if you like, when there may be a little breeze.
- Look at using cooling pads/cooling pillows if their room is very warm.
- Avoid caffeine (e.g. Coffee, some fizzy drinks, chocolate etc) in the 6 hours before bedtime.
- Try and keep bed and wake times consistent, eating at similar times also helps with our internal body clock.
- Avoid exercise in the hours before bed – this raises our body temperature, which can make it harder to fall asleep.
- Using visual resources can help with changes to routine (visual timetables, social stories, checklists etc).
- Use a fan to help keep bedrooms cool – the white noise it produces can also be quite calming.
- Spend an hour before bed engaging in calming/relaxing activities (if you are away take some with you).
- If bedtime during holidays is significantly later than during school, spend the last week of the holidays slowly bringing this earlier by 15 minutes a night. This is much easier on our body clock than a big change in one night.
- Run cold water over wrists and feet before bed to help keep cool, or have a bath before bed as this helps to cool the body. Try to avoid very cold showers as these can be stimulating.
- Play calming music/white noise at bedtime and throughout the night to drown out the noise of others playing outside.
We hope these tips have helped but if you need more personal support our team would be happy to help. Visit our sleep pages for more information.