I think I was in 3rd grade when my Aunt and Uncle sent me a pink cube alarm clock radio. It was so cool. It gave me control. I was pretty good at using it to make sure I woke up on time every day for school. Even better, I never used the snooze button because I didn’t trust that it would work.
But times have changed.
I am besties with the snooze button on my cell phone. I’m usually so tired when the alarm goes off that I will walk over to my phone, which I strategically place far away, will hit snooze and go back to bed.
What happened to the days when I would pop out of bed at 6 a.m., ready for the day? How can I get that back?
Getting enough sleep is important. If you don’t get enough sleep it can affect your physical health and memory, not to mention it’s torturous to be exhausted and unable to stop yawning all day long. It’s hard for adults and it’s hard for kids too.
School starts in about three weeks in my hometown, so parents and kids have ample time to practice their back to school sleep schedules. If you are having significant struggles with sleeping, check out sleepfoundation.org and possibly consider a visit with your physician.
- Reduce distractions by not having televisions in rooms or at least making sure they aren’t on as kids are trying to fall asleep. All video games and technological devices should be put away and out of sight. I don’t have a television in my room, but I do have a computer because that’s just the best place for it, but I don’t use it while I’m in bed.
- I try not to eat or drink an hour or two before bedtime.
- Make it a priority to stop all work and projects at least a half hour before going to bed. This is the big tip for me. There’s always one more word to type, one more bag to pack, one more dish to clean, one more shirt to fold, and it goes on and on. I mean, I’m up right now at 11:30 p.m. when I keep telling myself I need to be in bed by 10 p.m.
- I also keep a journal and pen on my nightstand because sometimes I think of something I don’t want to forget while I’m in bed. I find that I can fall back to sleep faster if I can write it down rather than thinking I don’t want to forget it.
- I used to drink a ton of Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Dr. Pepper. After many tries, I finally stopped drinking them altogether. I pretty much only have caffeine in the morning when I drink a cup of coffee. Not drinking caffeine all day helps me to fall asleep when I finally get myself into bed. With an overload of caffeine, I used to struggle with initially falling asleep.
- Something that I hear recommended all the time is having a sleep routine. Maybe an hour or half hour before it’s time for bed, you should be getting ready for bed. For kids, that may be taking a bath, putting on pajamas and hearing a bedtime story. For me, I think I will need an alarm set on my phone so that I remember to begin the drop everything and sleep routine.
Life can be hectic so it can be hard to get to bed on time. I’ve been struggling with this for a while now. I’m really hoping that I can make getting enough sleep a priority this school year, and I hope my students and their families can too.