The funny thing about the 4th of July is that it causes a whole lot of sleep deprivation; staying up past dark hours to watch fireworks and sounds of fireworks up into the odd hours of the night will throw anyone’s sleep off! If you are one of the millions of Americans who woke up on the more tired side this morning, I’ve got some tips for you! The fact is that late nights affect our children more than it does us, adults. So you can use these tips for yourself, but definitely use them for your kids as they will feel off this week.
1.? Prioritize nap time! Taking a nap and early bedtime is the fastest and most effective way to recover after sleep debt and late night. The most restorative time to take a nap (for you or your child (if he/she is on one nap a day)) is after 12pm-3pm), after that its best to stay awake and get an early bedtime.
2. ? Make healthy food accessible. When we are overly tired, our bodies crave carbs and sugar. It’s no different with our kids. The problem with giving into our desire for carb filled/sugar filled foods is that it just adds to our stress and extends our recovery cycle. So, keep a veggie and tray trey out during snack times and drink lots of water!
3. ? Get in all of the snuggles and giggles! Combating the stress from sleep deprivation can be done in so many ways but a lot of ways actually add to your stress down the road (example: binge watching tv, eating a bunch of sugar-filled foods, drinking too much caffeine….), but a couple of effective ways to cut down on the stress that have no side-effects is to snuggle and laugh!
4. ✌️ Have extra grace for yourself and your kids. When our bodies feel icky after a late night, realize that we are never in our “right” minds in that state. So pick your battles but also be of the understanding that fights are rarely (if ever) worth fighting when you and your kids are in that stressed sleep-deprived state. It’s best to help your child de-stress first, then deal with the behavior when you are both calm.
5. ⏰ Be patient-it takes TIME to recover after even one late night. Studies have shown that after even one late night, cortisol (the stress hormone that keeps us awake) is actually higher the 2nd day of the missed bedtime. Crazy right?! And after that cortisol peaks, it takes days for that stress cycle to run its course. So be patient, be consistent with sleep times and your little ones will feel better in a few days!