Kids this close to slumbering into their cereal bowls? Help your family get some quality shut-eye with these no-fuss tips.
Tired of asking kids to hit the hay? They are too. Past-the-hour video games, sleeptexting (it’s a thing), the jarring sound of late-night notifications can all prevent kids from getting the zzzs they need to face the day. Just when you think you’ve got the bedtime routine figured out post-baby stage, new research pops up about devices and their impact on kids’ sleep (more on that later). So how do you get everyone to power down before the clock strikes bedtime? Try these tech-free tips—one or all, whatever works for you—to turn a great night’s sleep into a lasting bedtime habit.
Call lights out—on tech!
The screens on our devices are actually designed to keep us awake with a bright blue light that can slow down our body’s ability to produce melatonin, the hormone that makes us sleepy. Try kicking in the one-hour rule: have everyone turn off their devices at least one hour before bedtime so they can chill out (read, listen to music, talk to you!) and ease into a restful sleep. Circle’s Bedtime feature can help you customize a digital lights out for your family, saving you unnecessary nag time.
Give tech-free bedrooms a go.
A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that kids who slept near a small screen clocked 20 fewer minutes of sleep than those who didn’t. We all know a sleepy kid makes for a cranky one, but poor sleep can also impact their grades and even weight. Try keeping devices (video game consoles too) outta the bedroom with a charging station in a common area. Going cold turkey on tech-free bedrooms may be tough, we know, so make it a nighttime-only goal instead.
Say goodnight to notifications.
Who hasn’t woken up to the annoying sound of your (or someone else’s, ahem) notification alerts? Shut it down! Texts and notifications can no doubt interrupt your teen’s recommended 8 to 10 hours of sleep (for tweens, it’s more like 9 to 11 hours) as well as your own. Try silencing these alerts by adjusting your family’s phone settings or setting Bedtime mode on your Circle App.
What better way to get kids sleepy than to tire them out? After-school sports are awesome but not all children are of the sporty variety. In that case, try finding an exercise you can all get on board with, like a pre-dinner bike ride or walk (post-dinner if that’s more convenient). Win-win: you get to bond with your kids and stay active.
Stick to a consistent bedtime.
Kids who follow a set bedtime (and wake time) are more likely to get a better night’s sleep. If you notice your child increasingly staying up past your original bedtime goal, try setting their bedtime 15 minutes earlier every few days until they’re back on track (turning back the clock too fast runs the risk of them not being tired and getting frustrated). For weekends it’s easy to slack off but keeping bedtime close to weekday times will make it easier to get back in the groove come Monday.
Practice what you preach.
Downtime is hard to come by for parents, leaving bedtime often the only time to check in with friends via social or text. We get it. But making sure you can follow your own tech-free bedtime rules can be the incentive kids need to do the same (and will avoid having them call you out on it later!). Bonus: you’ll gain coveted face-to-face time, catch up on tech-free activities like reading a good book and rediscover what it feels like to score an amazing night’s sleep.