Ah summer. We Canadians wait ALL year for this kind of weather (certainly when comparing it to this). But summer can wreak havoc on child sleep schedules and routines. Here’s some ways summer impacts sleep, and real strategies you can use to try to keep you child on track.
Longer days, early mornings and late nights. Sounds like a recipe for a great summer, but long term, that can cause trouble for sleep routines. Pick up some of these or bring some black garbage bags (be prepared to double or even triple layer them) and painter’s tape if you’re travelling. For those who are travelling to cottages this summer: The sun sets even later and rises earlier in the north and often cottages have bigger windows to enjoy the long days. Don’t let light delay bedtime or encourage an early morning riser.
Apparently 20 degrees is ideal for sleep, which seems far too cool for me, especially with those scorching summer days. Generally about 1 degree cooler than temperature in your home during the day is fine. Adjust your child’s clothing and coverings accordingly.
Late night barbeques at the neighbours, older children biking the streets, even the birds chirping in the early mornings can impact sleep. Mitigate with white noise. There’s are dedicated white noise machines on the market, but you may be able to repurpose something already within your home. An oscillating fan (set up out of reach, especially for children in beds), a dehumidifier, even a radio tuned to static with the volume quite low will work.
Travel is a great experience for your family and inevitably, sleep might be more difficult when you’re away from all the comforts of home. Bring what you can (within reason) to keep everyone comfortable. As much as possible, try not to deviate too much from your regular sleep patterns. I certainly don’t want parents to feel they’re a slave to the sleep schedule while they’re trying to enjoy a vacation.
The biggest rule is to not undo all the good work you’ve been doing. Some kids are pretty flexible but some aren’t. Trust your comfort zone but also your child and their ability to get back into their routines when you return home.
Have a great summer friends!