School age children can be a little bit more flexible with regards to keeping a tight routine and schedule. However, that does not mean that their once early bedtime of 8 or 8:30pm can now be 10 or 10:30pm. Typically 30-45 minutes is allowable for minor change in sleep. Wake times should not be varied much either. If a child was getting up at 6:30am all year, then they should not be allowed to sleep in until 8am all summer. It will be harder to get them back on a schedule for school come the fall. Minor changes are okay, but anything too drastic is not healthy and can cause children to be worn down, overactive, and sleep deprived. What’s the best thing to do?
1) Allow for 2-3 times a week for the child to stay up “late” staying within that hour of regular bedtime – try to keep the other nights at a regular time
2) If a really busy day is planned, calculate time for some quiet resting or quick nap between activities if possible
3) Keep bedrooms quiet, cool and dark during sleep to keep consistency in sleep environment
4) Plan and prepare for lost sleep appropriately
Summer vacation is meant to be fun and relaxing, but it’s still important to keep healthy sleep at the forefront for proper growth and development!!