The importance of maintaining your children's bed time during school holidays

School holiday’s are here again and along with keeping your little one’s occupied with activities and play dates it can be tempting to let them stay up that little bit later. 

And as tempting as it is, remember that whether you are staying at home or going away it is important that you try to maintain a regular sleep pattern for your children.  Without it they will become tired and grumpy, making your days more difficult and when the holiday’s are over you will have to battle to get them back into their bedtime routine.

As recommended by the Sleep Health Organisation “Bed time should not vary by more than an hour between school and non-school nights” and “the same goes for the time your child wakes up”

To help with this in the holiday’s ensure that you give your children time to relax before bed.  Put away toys and turn of screens.  Anything stimulating.  Try reading a favourite book or listening to some calming music.

If you are travelling and away from home, a different environment can make it difficult for them to settle.  Take with you a toy, pillow or blanket that your child associates with sleep.  It will make them more comfortable and assist in them getting to sleep.

When travelling also ensure that where you are staying has Protect-A-Bed® Mattress and Pillow Protectors.  An unprotected mattress or pillow is home to millions of dust mites, mould and bacteria which may cause allergens, asthma and eczema. 

30% of us are allergic to dust mites so chances are if you or your family are sleeping on an unprotected mattress while away asthma and allergies are more likely to occur.  None of us want to get sick, or have sick children, when away on holidays!

And for those of you who have children still bedwetting, consider taking an extra mattress protector or linen protector of your own with you.  Pop it on the bed and if an accident occurs you can easily remove it in the night, getting back to sleep quickly with the knowledge that the mattress your child is sleeping won’t become wet or stained.

With the holiday’s coming to a close, if you have not been able to maintain the consistent bedtime at the start of the holidays, get back to a normal routine before school starts.   If bedtime has become later than usual, slowly push it back by about 15 minutes or so a night until it is where it should be.

A fun holiday activity that encourages children to keep to their bedtime is making a Sleep Clock.   Head to the Sleep Health Foundations website and download a easy to use template created by Professor Kurt Lushington from the University of South Australia.

Everyone deserves the simple pleasure of a good night’s sleep.