Back to school means changes to your family's routine. Bedtimes get moved up. Alarm clocks get set and we enthusiastically prepare for that first day of school. And then life happens. Kids begin to resist bedtime and the alarm violates our peaceful sleep. But this decline is not inevitable. Research has demonstrated time and time again that establishing a family nighttime routine has benefits — not only for children — but the mental health of their parents.
There are four key components to an effective bedtime routine:
1. Nutrition (nighttime snack)
If you take in the right nutrients before sleep, a snack can help your body restore and rebuild and the whole family loves a treat before bed. Perk Chill™ helps you satisfy your sweet tooth without added sugar and provides protein with collagen for muscle and joint repair. Chill features PowerSleep™ — a blend of minerals and vitamins that are essential for sleep quality, and glycine — an amino acid that helps promote mental calmness. And Chill's flavors will make the family actually look forward to going to bed.
2. Hygiene (bath, brushing teeth)
A pattern of bathing and brushing is an important part of your child’s nighttime routine. Not only will your children improve their health by establishing habits of oral hygiene and cleanliness, but they will be establishing a practice of self-care at an early age that will help them as they mature.
3. Communication (reading, visiting)
Reading to your children has demonstrable benefits that help your children learn to love reading and storytelling. Visiting with your children before bed gives you an opportunity to get to know them as individuals and allow them to share their thoughts and feelings that may not be shared otherwise.
4. Contact (snuggling)
Hugging and snuggling your children has myriad benefits including physical, mental, and emotional development. According to Stephanie Marcy, PhD, psychologist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, “Cuddling helps your baby develop a secure attachment to you. The bond developed has effects later in your child’s life in terms of self-confidence, healthy individuation and exploration, expression of empathy, social relationships and ability to cope with life stressors.”
Even if you can’t always follow your routine, it’s still worthwhile to establish a nighttime pattern. Perfection isn’t required or necessary and it's never too late to start. Your framework will help your family stay grounded through the ups and downs of the school year.