Holidays are a time for fun, relaxation and spending quality time together as a family. In fact, 34% of parents surveyed in a recent study said a family holiday strengthened the bond between them. But for parents, the intense planning, combined with worries about keeping their children safe and entertained can quickly become exhausting. Not to mention the difficulties that come with trying to maintain a normal routine, particularly where sleep is concerned.
With so many exciting activities and events happening on holiday, it’s easy for children to become overtired and cranky, making them reluctant to sleep. Fortunately, with some planning and preparation ahead of time, parents can ensure that their child gets enough rest without sacrificing any of the fun. Here are some top tips to promote healthy sleep when you’re away from home.
Stick to a routine
Although it’s sometimes easier said than done, try to stick to your normal routine as much as possible. This means resisting the temptation to let your children stay up later than usual or lie in past their normal time, as making changes to this schedule can throw off their internal clock.
If you’re travelling to somewhere with a significant time difference, this can be tricky. To ease the transition, try gradually moving their bedtime routine an hour closer to their normal schedule each day. This way, they can still make the most of the days but without any drastic changes that could negatively impact their sleep.
Create a comfortable environment
The unfamiliar environment can often be overwhelming for children, particularly younger ones. With so many new things to explore, their minds may wander when it comes to bedtime, making it difficult to fall asleep.
To help combat this, bring along any familiar items that your children associate with sleep, such as their favourite blanket or a stuffed toy. This will remind them of home and help promote relaxation. It’s also important to ensure the room is dark, and the temperature is as comfortable as possible to create a sleep-friendly environment, sleep-friendly environment.
Limit their screen time
It can be tempting to use screens as a way to occupy your children, particularly during long car journeys, flights or other busy times. Although it might help in the moment, too much screen time can disrupt their sleep. The blue light emitted by their devices can interfere with the body’s production of melatonin, which is the hormone that regulates our sleep. Small amounts of screen time throughout the day are harmless, but make sure to avoid allowing them to use their devices right before bedtime. Instead, try reading to them, playing a relaxing game or use My Little Morphée.
Get active during the day
The new environment can be mentally stimulating for children which can tire them out, but they also need to be physically tired in order to sleep. To help this, make sure they’re getting plenty of exercise on holiday. Take advantage of the new scenery to get out and explore. You could take a family hike, go swimming or hire some bikes for the day. All of this activity is bound to tire them out, making it easier for them to fall asleep at bedtime.