I know that we tend to view the weekends and summer vacation as an excuse to push bedtimes back and sleep in. After all, it shouldn’t matter what time we get to bed and wake up just as long as we’re getting enough sleep overall, right?
Getting enough sleep at night is definitely crucial to feeling our best the next day, but there’s actually a really good case to be made for going to bed at the same time every night, and getting up at the same time every morning, both for you and your kids. I’ll explain why in this week’s video.
You know, if we were to treat ourselves very well, as far as sleep was concerned, we would put ourselves to bed at the same time every night and get up for the day at the same time every morning. That’s actually the way our body clocks are designed. If we went to bed at 10 p.m. every single night, even on the weekends, and woke up at 7 a.m. every single day, our body would fall into a beautiful rhythm of just doing that naturally. You would no longer need your alarm clock because your body would just know that about five to seven, it’s time to start waking you up and bing, your eyes would be open and you’d be ready for your day at seven o’clock every single morning. And that would mean that you would feel great through your whole day because your body clock would be perfectly in line with what you’re giving it.
Now, us adults, we’re not so good at that, are we? We tend to go to bed early some nights, stay up way too late on weekends, sleep in on the weekends, and that’s actually the worst thing you can do if you want to be feeling your best every single day, so just something to think about for your own sleep habits. But when we start looking at our children, having them on a regular bedtime is really, really important, even on the weekends. If they could go to bed at seven or eight p.m. every single night, they would naturally start waking for the day around 7 a.m. in the morning and they’d be full of energy, and ready to go and coping with the world in such a beautiful way.
When I was a grade one teacher, though, I used to notice a lot that Mondays were a hard day for a lot of my students. And that was usually because they’d had a weekend where they were going to bed much later than normal, maybe sleeping in, although most children do not sleep in. Their body clock is still working well enough that they’re gonna wake up at that 7 a.m. hour anyway regardless of how late you put them to bed. So now they’re going into their week with a sleep debt, and we know that operating on a sleep debt just means that you’re not working at your best. You’re gonna be a little bit fatigued.
Children who are operating on a bit of a sleep debt tend to a little bit lower on focus, they can be a little bit more impulsive. They can lose their temper a little quicker, their focus, they can’t stay on task as well. So it’s so important to get your children on a regular bedtime and really stick to it. And you know what? As they get older, and they get into the teens, you can budge a little bit with their bedtime. But certainly, in those early school years, it’s just really crucial that they’re going to bed at the same time every hour, even on weekends. And you know what, they’re not gonna sleep in anyway so no point in even trying to keep them up late in the hopes that everybody can spend a little bit more time in bed. That’s just not the way it’s gonna be.
So, get yourself to bed on time tonight. Thanks so much for watching, sleep well.
If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 57,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!