So school is out for us, but around here some things don't change. We still have the same bedtime as we did during the school year. Maybe kids will think that makes me a mean mom. Well, I'm not overly concerned with the kids' opinion of my parenting choices. But I don't do this to be mean. There are several reasons we keep the same bedtime.
Sleep is essential for EVERYONE! Most people do not get enough sleep, so why would I want to set my kids up to be sleep deprived? According to the National Sleep Foundation, my kids need 9-11 hours of sleep per night. And According to The American Academy of Sleep Medicine's report on CNN, my kids should go to sleep between 8 and 8:30 pm. I really don't need the professionals to tell me that my kids are happier when they get good sleep. I can see by the way they act that they do better when well rested. Sleep is also important for their physical and cognitive growth and development. This does not become less important because school's out! I don't stop asking them to eat their vegetables so why would I stop encouraging good sleep habits? I also know that keeping kids on a routine is important, we have always had a routine, even if we vary the exact time of some things here and there, we stick to eating and sleeping at the same times as much as possible. (Evening sports activities can make that a bit challenging, but we try!) <y husband still gets up early every weekday to go to work, so it's just easier if we all stick to the same routine. I also want some kid-free time in the evening without staying up late, because I NEED sleep too!! I know getting kids to go to sleep when it's still daylight can be challenging, we use blackout curtains to make the room dark, we also use this sound machine to help block out noise. We avoid using electronics in the late evening and try to get outside during the day. Being outside can help boost the body's ability to produce melatonin, which is important for sleep. Lack of sleep can exacerbate mental health issues, such as ADHD. My kids also participate in some camps and vacation bible school weeks, along with volunteering, swimming, and just being a kid. They need good quality sleep to do all those things. So, when evening comes, even though the sun may still shine, it's lights out at our house.
For more information about the importance of sleep and how many hours you should get check out this article by Slumber Secrets.