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Let’s Talk Sleep with Dr. Adena Borodkin of Golden Valley Kids Pediatric Dentistry in Golden Valley, MN

In just a few weeks Golden Valley schools are back in session. Ready or not, it’s time to get back into your school routine. Sleep is one of the most important parts of preparing your kids for their school day. Poor sleep not only impacts mood and behavior but can also reduce the ability to focus and pay attention. If your kids have been burning the midnight oil (or even the 9pm oil) this summer, it’s time to get them back on track. We hope these tips will help you with the transition.

  1. Ease into it. If your kids have been going to sleep two hours past their usual bedtime, start pushing it back twenty minutes each night until they’re where you’d like them to be.
  2. Establish rituals as part of their night time routine. Play the same song as they start their bedtime routine each night. Use a lavender scented body wash during bath time. Have them use a wipe to clean out the sink after they brush their teeth. Read a book together in the same spot. These little sights, sounds, smells, and habits will help their busy brains know that it is time for rest. Use our toothbrushing tune (posted weekly on our Facebook page) for a fun, 2 minute brushing routine.
  3. Cut off screen time two hours before bedtime. It’s so tempting to watch TV or allow your kids to play on a tablet before bed, but studies show the blue light emitted from these devices disrupts melatonin production. Packing lunches together, folding and putting laundry away, choosing outfits for the next day, and the things we mentioned in the previous tip are all good ways to spend time together in the two hours before bed.
  4. If you have light dimmers, dim the lights about an hour before bedtime. This is also a good way to signal the brain that it’s almost time for bed.
  5. Don’t bundle your child up too much or turn the heat too high. Sleeping in a cool room can help children and grown-ups fall asleep and stay asleep. The best room temperature range for night time is 68-72 degrees.
  6. Reduce the focus on falling asleep. Instead of telling your child to go to sleep, try telling them to focus on relaxing, or closing their eyes until they count to a certain number.

We hope these sleep tips lead to happy morning smiles!