Routines Key to Happy Holidays
● By Hood Magazine
By Greta Stewart, Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center
Kids, and even some parents, love this time of year, simply for the fact they get a break from school and the morning routines. Although the holiday break seems like the time to let sleep schedules go out the window, both parents and children would probably enjoy their holidays even more if they prioritized their child’s sleep schedule. “Sleep, mood, and behavior all go hand in hand,” explains Stacy Gorman, Outpatient Therapist at the Avera Behavioral Health Clinic in Sioux Falls. “When sleep schedules are maintained, and both children and their parents are getting proper sleep (and staying consistent in healthy sleep patterns), better moods and positive interactions are much more likely.” In fact, Gorman says a regular schedule and routine can bring great comfort to children.
Consider These Ideas:
Don’t over-schedule. Over-scheduling and trying to visit so many people and places often leads to children missing their naps or going to bed much later than normal.
Schedule events around your child’s sleep schedule and keep their sleep time a top priority.
If traveling, bring along one or more of your child’s favorite comfort items such as a blanket, stuffed animal, or pillow to help children fall asleep more naturally.
Bedtime routines aren’t just for toddlers. All children, teens, and adults can benefit from doing the same things every night before going to sleep. If your routine is bath, book, and then bed, keep that same routine when you’re away.
Follow these tips and chances are your children won’t have a problem getting back into the swing of things and will return to school feeling refreshed and excited to learn.