Summer holidays and summer sleep.

Its a time of later bedtimes and lazy mornings, of hot bedrooms and possibly trips away on holiday. Quick tips include keeping the bedroom as cool as possible. Consider keeping feet bare and uncovered, always use black out blinds – movable ones are good for summer sleep whilst on holidays.  Reintroduce reward charts once you are home or the holidays have finished.

Your child may previously have been a good sleeper but after a period of change their sleep is more disrupted. Classic at this time of year is a family holiday with a time zone change. Family holidays involve relaxation, fun and later bedtimes. This may be followed by a longer lie in or possibly not!

There may be limited opportunity to keep your child’s summer sleep space as dark and/or quiet as they are used to. It may be hotter or colder than normal. Top tip – relax and enjoy and it and use any means possible to get the most sleep for your family whilst on holiday!

Returning home.

As soon as you return home, restart the usual bedtime routine and times. If you have returned from a different time zone go straight back to the correct bedtime for UK (assuming you are in the UK!) time. Most youngsters will settle back into their usual sleep pattern within a few days providing you are consistent and persistent.

This advice is also suitable for after a period of illness. There is no situation where sleep is more important than a poorly child. Therefore make sure you are available to your child at night when they are sick. Then return to normal routines and expectations when you are reassured they are well again. That said a poorly child over the age of 6 months does not always need a milk feed in the night and water can be acceptable.

For further information see

For advice when your child is ill see nhs choices

Next time – Getting those school aged children back on track to be waking for school again.