It’s Back to School Season and Time for a Back to Bedtime Routine! February 20, 2014 By Guest Children, Family & School comments Summertime, and the living is easy - at least until we have to get the kids awake dressed and ready for school after a sweltering 40+ degree night. Yes, back to school time means it's time for a bedtime routine for kids, of all ages. But if you are finding your kids are not getting enough sleep you are not alone. The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute found that 40% of children have a sleep problem in the first 6 months of starting school. With the most common reported difficulties being falling to sleep, waking in the night, and fear of sleeping alone. And if you are feeling stressed about your children’s lack of sleep - that’s normal too. The study found that children’s sleep problems are also associated with poor child and parent mental health. What can parents do? Here are 10 sleep tips to enjoy happier bedtimes once your kids are back at school! Have a regular bedtime. 2. Make the bedroom a comfortable quiet cool dark place to sleep, with no television or other electronic devices. In know that can be tricky in summer but do the best you can. 3. Have a regular calming bedtime routine. In our home we do bath, teeth, books, then a Dinosnores sleepy story CD. 4. Use a bedtime relaxation CD to teach the children to slow down their mind and body after a busy day. 5. Avoid the “I can’t sleep” argument. Ask children to “lie down and rest their bodies” instead of telling them to “go to sleep”. 6. Avoid TV computer or electronic games two hours before bedtime - as they have all been found to make sleep more difficult. Try encouraging play dough play, drawing or a quiet snuggle time with their favourite plush toys instead. 7. Get the kids out exercising in the day to help them sleep at night. 8. Avoid caffeine and sugar saturated foods. Need ideas for healthy, yet tasty treats for the kids? Click here for great healthy eating, real food recipe books. 9. Talk to your doctor to rule out medical causes of sleep difficulties. 10. During the holidays anticipate some disruptions at bedtime if you are changing your family routine. And always, always give yourselves and your children permission to find bedtime challenging. You are not alone! Author Bio: This is a guest post by Sherene Alfreds, Developer of Dinosnores Sleepy Stories and mother of two. Dinosnores are award-winning sleep CDs and iTunes for kids. Click here to get your own Dinosnores Sleepy Stories for your kids!