CONSISTENT SLEEP SCHEDULE FOR STUDENTS
First, we want to be clear: We’re not asking for perfection here since we know students are very busy and after-school activities and homework can vary night to night.
But, after you’ve figured out what you want to try for your new relaxing bedtime routine, we challenge you to be more intentional about going to bed at a similar time every night, when possible. For “extra credit” in getting even better sleep quality, try doing this a few nights a week, or on the weekends.
And while words like “routine” and “schedule” may not sound exciting, the benefits of keeping a sleep schedule are ENORMOUS. The more committed you are to your schedule, the more your sleep quality will improve, and the better you’ll feel.
STEP 1: CREATE A NEW SLEEP SCHEDULE
- Start with the time you need to get up in the morning
- Count backward eight to eleven hours (teens need 8-10 hours sleep/night; kids ages 6-13 need 9-11 hours sleep/night)
- That time is your bedtime
- Count back another twenty minutes to an hour
- That time is when your bedtime routine starts
- If you wake up at 6 a.m. then your bedtime is 10 p.m. (gives you 8 hours of sleep)
- If your bedtime is 10 p.m. then your bedtime routine needs to start 20 minutes to 1 hour before bed; so, let’s say 9:40 p.m.
- If your bedtime routine starts at 9:40 p.m. then you’ll want to be able to close the book on the day by 9:25 p.m.
WHAT IT MEANS
You may notice your new schedule invites changes in other parts of your day. Maybe you eat dinner late. Or, perhaps, your homework, sports, or other after-school activities keep you occupied late into the evening.
The choices and pressures that life puts on us are exactly why people struggle to get the quality sleep they need. The goal of Sleep30® Youth is to help you think differently about the role sleep plays in your/student’s life, and form positive habits you’ll take with you into adulthood.
STEP 2: PRACTICE YOUR NEW SCHEDULE
One way to work through your schedule change is simply to practice. Just take that 20 minutes to 1 hour before bedtime to prepare for the next day and to relax.
STEP 3: FIND SOMEONE TO HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE
For some people, the main challenge is practical. They set two alarms: one for their usual wake-up time and a second one to remind them to start their bedtime ritual.
For others, the challenge is more emotional. What does it feel like to bring a hard stop to your day and wind down? How does this new schedule affect your life? What ripple effects does it have on your day? Is prioritizing sleep stressing you out?
Find someone to do this with you so it’s easier. Can other members of your family do this with you? What about your best friend? You all say good night to each other at the same time and then start doing your bedtime routine with no interruptions, or FOMO.
Share with us how it’s going on social using #Sleep30.
*source SN study here