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My wife and often struggle with these last weeks of Summer — because our children have dramatically changed their sleeping schedule — seriously affecting the transition into the new school year.
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My kids are only three and one, so their needs and consequent schedules are still fairly simple, but we have a bedtime routine. Bath time, brush teeth, story time, etc.
I read once that kids who get more than an hour of vitamin D (sunshine) every day sleep better and have a naturally self regulating circadian rhythm. I don’t know if that’s true or if it’s that playing outside gets them good and tired so that they can nod off at the appropriate time. Either way, letting my kids play outside seems to go hand in hand with good sleep.
All things being said, my son despises sleep but my daughter loves sleep so much that she will put herself to bed, ask to go to bed, and laugh with satisfaction at being placed in her bed. Haha What’s healthy might fluctuate somewhat from person to person.