In This Together
What is your favourite tip or guideline to help your daughter have a good night’s sleep?
Thank you to all the parents who submitted a sleep tip last week – we had a fantastic response and have many great words of wisdom from lots of different families across the school. So a big thank you to you all!
The tips covered all sorts of different strategies and included ideas about the importance of exercise and natural light during the day, having consistent routines, managing technology well, using different relaxation strategies, thinking about the quality of the sleep as well as quantity, making sure games and activities get quieter as the evening goes on ... and much, much more!
As I heard a teacher say to a group of students last year, “Do you want to do better at school, be a better learner and feel better in yourself by doing absolutely nothing at all? Then go to sleep!” So how do we help kids do this? Here are your top tips for 5-18 year olds:
1. Consistent routines really help
- Consistent routines help us make sleep a priority
- Have a consistent routine prior to a consistent bed time – even on the weekends when you can!
- Make sure the girls are organised and not procrastinating about homework, so that they can go to bed at a consistent time
- We’ve made our mornings calmer for everyone by getting things organised the night before – and we try not to have any late nights as a family during the school week.
2. Winding down on device time
- At least an hour of "screen free time" before bedtime on week nights. We are doing this too and it makes such a difference!
- No phones at the dinner table – ever!
- No devices at least an hour before bedtime – this really makes a difference to the quality of sleep we are all getting.
3. "Tech free" bedrooms – no matter what!
- No technology in bedrooms after a set time (eg 8pm) – and don’t fall for the excuses like "I need my phone to listen to music or to use as an alarm clock" because they don’t! This works much better for us than any software that limits access to Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube or anything else.
- No screens or phones in rooms overnight – no matter what!
- Have one place in the living area to charge phones and request that phones are in the charging area from a certain time (eg 7pm or 9pm). This ensures phones are out of the bedroom for study and sleep times. If they need to use the phone they must come to the charging area (eg in the living room).
- All devices (phones, school tablets etc - including the parents' devices) must be charged in a central spot downstairs overnight. We aim to have the phones there from dinner time onwards.
4. Food and drink – the right amount at the right time
- Ensure dinner is quiet, calm and healthy – being too full or hungry makes it harder to get a good night’s sleep.
- No caffeine for my older daughter after lunch – and I’m using this rule too to try and be a good role model!
5. Calm your brain by doing something relaxing before bed
- 20-30 minutes of reading in bed each night before lights out.
- A calm bath at the end of the day does wonders!
- Read a familiar bedtime story, one they have read many times before, keep the conversation quiet and calm.
Thank you again to all the families who submitted a sleep tip last week! And if you missed the opportunity to participate this time, perhaps it is a question you could ask the parents of your daughter’s friends sometime ... what sleep time tips do they have that might work well for you too?
Deputy Head of School