School is out and that often means a change in sleep schedules. As part of Better Sleep Month, Door County Medical Center’s accredited Sleep Disorders Facility has tips to keep kids fully rested during summer months.
Dr. Andrzej Kurek, a sleep physician at DCMC, said it’s always best to stay in a routine when it comes to bed-time and wake time. If that’s not possible, or you just want to be a little more flexible with the rules during summer, he says try not to deviate more than one hour.
“Children, on average, need eight to 10 hours of sleep depending on their age,” he said. “That doesn’t change on holidays or during summer break. Sleep is just as important as the air you breathe.”
Kurek said if you notice hyperactivity, behavioral issues or prolonged extreme tiredness during the day, your child may not be getting enough quality sleep.
Here are tips Kurek said will help avoid summer sleepiness if schedules change.
Limit the use of electronics one hour prior to bed to prepare bodies and brains for sleep.
Try not to deviate from a normal bedtime for more than two days in a row.
Diffuse lavender oil to naturally decrease heart rate.
Do not go to bed hungry; eat a light, healthy snack at least thirty minutes before bed if necessary.
Keep the bedroom temperature cooler than the rest of the house, if possible.
Before the start of a new school year, start preparing kids for earlier bed and wake times at least two weeks before school starts. Gradually push bedtime earlier by 15 minutes per night until you reach the desired bedtime and do the same for wake time.
Kurek said if these tips are not helping kids feel fully refreshed in the mornings, it could be a sign of a sleep disorder.
“There are 84 identified sleep disorders and sometimes the cause has nothing to do with actual lack of sleep,” he said.
If you have concerns about sleep patterns, or difficulties falling or staying asleep, contact the Door County Medical Center Sleep Disorders Facility (920) 746-3585.