5 Tips On How To Maintain Bedtime On Long Summer Nights
We are well into the summer season and my little ones and I are fully enjoying everything about it. Warm weather, swimming, ice cream, and outdoor play. With all the fun summer activities also comes longer days. Longer days means it is still very bright out during bed time.
Melatonin is the hormone that induces sleepiness and is heavily released during the evening and night to help us fall asleep and stay asleep. The Sun is a natural suppressant of melatonin which is why you may be having trouble getting your kids to bed during the summer.
I've made a list of tips and tricks on how to get your child to sleep at their normal bedtimes despite the bright summer sun.
1. Pack dinner and head to the park!
Aside for the obvious of allowing your children to run around before bed time to get out their extra wiggles there is also a benefit to the sun exposure right before bed time.
Transitioning from being in the sun into your home out of the sun your body will be triggered to release the melatonin hormone allowing for children (and adults) to feel tired and be more ready for bed.
If you don't feel like having a huge excursion to the park you can accomplish this right in your own backyard!
2.Cookies for Dessert
Okay I know this sounds weird. Sugary food before bed? This seems counter productive. This recipe is for Peanut Butter, Banana, and Oat cookies and they are delicious! They are a healthier dessert made without any refind sugar and instead uses honey for a sweetener.
Bananas, Oats, and Nuts are all foods that naturally contain melatonin. So give it a tryt! You children will be glad you did :)
3. Prepare your home.
Artificial light tricks the mind and creates a suppression of melatonin just like the sun so make sure you properly prepare your home before you leave. When you get back from the park or playing in your backyard you want the house to not be brightly lit.
Don't have all the house lights on or blinds fully open. Instead have a few lamps on creating "evening" light. Also if your child's windows let in a lot of light you may want to invest in blackout curtains for the summer time.
4. Keep it cool.
Make sure the child's room is a comfortable temperature. If you don't have air-conditioning or you are like me and don't like sleep with it on, a fan will definitely do the trick. It will also double as a white noise machine which is an added bonus!
Use light blankets and non footed pajama's during warmer nights so your child won't get too warm and sweaty while they are sleeping
5. Smooth Transitions
On your way home from the park your children may be on a high from all the fun you just had. Be sure to be clear with them and guide them into the transition of bed time. Let them know that when you get home that it is bed time. Have them go in an take off their shoes, give them a bath, and into their beds.
If you are still having a hard time with transitioning you can let them pick out their favorite book and read it to them after pajamas are on and before they crawl under their covers.
Comment below with what works with your children to get them to sleep during long summer days!