It might be the kid’s favourite time of year, but for parents, the summer holidays can be nothing short of a nightmare.

First, there’s the childcare issue, then there’s the fact you’ve got to keep them entertained. That Playstation will only go so far when those typical British rainy summer days come along. But, by far the worst problem for parents during the summer holidays is getting the kids to go to bed. That wonderful, structured sleep schedule you created during the school year? That went out the window when the long nights and the “just one more hour” please come along. After-all, it’s not like they have school in the morning!

Kids Sleep and Bed Time During the Summer HolidaysHowever, trying to keep a fairly structured sleep routine during the summer is essential not only for your own sanity, but also when the new school year comes along. It’s also important for your child’s health too. If your child doesn’t get their recommended 9-11 hours’ sleep (depending on age) at night, then this could have adverse effects. This includes affecting your child’s development, performance, mood and growth.

On the opposite end, you might have a teenager who is desperate to stay in their bed until after noon every day. Now this may not seem a bad thing, after-all they spent most of the school year torn between studying and those extra-curricular activities that universities love to see on their applications. But catching up on lost sleep is not a healthy habit to get into during the summer.

First off, for the youngsters, implement a consistent sleep schedule. Yes, this will be hard at first but ensure your kid gets the correct amount of sleep. Since this will mean trying to get your child to go to bed when it’s still light outside, you should think about investing in some blackout curtains. These will mimic a dark night and make it easier for them to get to sleep.

Of course, a summer sleep schedule will mean later nights than those during the school year. This means that around 2-3 weeks before the new term starts you should start bringing bedtime/getting up time forward 15 minutes every few days. Do this until you’re back on school sleeping schedule. Come the first day back, you’ll be glad you did.

As for teenagers that sleep well into the afternoon – sleeping a little longer in the morning is perfectly fine for summer. However, after 12pm is far from ideal. Instead try to get your teenager out of bed by 9 or 10am, which, of course, sounds a lot easier than it actually is. Try to engage your teen in activities that occur in the mornings such a summer sport camp or a summer part time job. Not only will this get your teen out of bed, but it’s a great way for them to earn themselves some money and make new friends. This will also help them develop much-needed skills for when they’re ready to leave home and head for university in a few short years. Plus, that earlier morning will make it much easier when those early school mornings come around.