The return to the routine of the children when returning from the holidays is usually a great challenge. The bedtime and wake-up times should be resumed before the summer months, but the way to do it usually presents questions. How to do it? Should we adapt to the new routines? How to route the new rhythms of the house without dying in the attempt?
It is important to understand that the circadian rhythm is the one that handles all the sleep and wake times; He is responsible for the quality of sleep and therefore the proper functioning of the brain. Without a proper rest, the nervous system will have difficulty assimilating new ideas, consolidating memory and therefore learning processes will be greatly affected.
“School-age children still have a neurological need to sleep more hours than adults. If the number of hours of sleep is reduced, or their quality of rest deteriorates, both their quality of life and their school performance will be greatly affected. ” Pablo Ferrero is a medical specialist in Sleep Medicine, and stressed that it is essential to know that sleeping within normal hours of rest is as important as the quantity and quality of sleep hours
It is known that during the holidays, many children prolong their bedtime and waking hours, accompanied by all family social events and “vacation permits”, added today to the use of technology that affects with their hyper stimulating screens. “Precisely here is where it is more difficult to return to the routine to begin with the schedules of school-age children, since they must cut off the hours of rest and also advance their sleep rhythm, waking up much earlier than their internal clocks they suggest and of course long before your little brain, in the process of learning, is ready to absorb such information again, ”he said.
“Many children on vacation go to colonies and continue with routines, since their parents work and there are no other care options. Sometimes they manage to send them on a simple day, and other full-time as needed. The truth is Although the colonies are recreational and outdoor spaces, the fact of having fixed schedules and being an “obligation” in the summer means that children do not rest at all” For the degree in Psychology Lorena Ruda (MN 44247) “sometimes you can’t, but maybe the good thing would be that these spaces are not all summer or have flexibility to be able to miss and also have their leisure time and, why no, plans with the family even if they are not every day or all day. ”
In that sense, according to the maternity and parenting specialist, “In the holidays usually the routines decontract, perhaps it is not necessary to have dinner early and the schedule of going to sleep and getting up is later, that is why after the return to school takes a while of adaptation”.
Some choose to start accustoming them to the schedule a few days before, others take advantage of the relaxation until the last moment and when they start classes they get comfortable. “In general there is no difficulty in this, the boys are usually excited for the first days of school and the dream accommodates him right away. Maybe the first week, especially those who go in the morning or double shift, fall asleep before dinner, but usually regulate quickly, ”he said.
For the graduate in Psychology Lujan Rossetto (MN 45356), “the month of March, the beginning of classes, the return to the routine generates ambivalent sensations in homes and families.” “On the one hand it is the return to the structure, to the rigor of the schedules and the schemes, that in many cases orders and resolves situations that during the summer are usually very chaotic for many families, who have to resort to nanny, colony or family environment. For them, the return to school again guides schedules and structural dynamics, ”said the specialist and creator of Maternarse, an Instagram account where she shares her knowledge and experiences as a mother.
On the other hand, he continued, “also going back to class implies connecting with fatigue, with schedules, obligations, tasks, meetings and everything that concerns the formality of the institutional”. “To this we must add that many times vacations with children do not meet the idealized expectations of many families so that the month of March carries a more complex burden than it seems.”
In this context, for her it is key “to take into account that this whole first month is adaptive, in fact there are many schools and gardens that give a special period to adaptation, with schedules and schemes that are reduced or modified so that the families, children and the teaching staff adapt to this new routine. ”
“The first days of school children are usually more tired than in later stages of the year and it has to do with something of the physical and psychic order that is being adjusted, with which it is important to mark as parents that the return to the routine has begun and begin to establish more strict schedules (especially those of the bath, dinner and sleep, which are those that structure the moment of sleep), ”said Rossetto , who recommended: “It is a time for these behaviors to be annoying children that the holidays have ended.”
According to her, “the concept of routines and not routines is interesting.” “I say that so that there can be routines it is important that there are not, so on weekends, holidays and vacations it is important to be more lax with the routines so that during the week it is easier to redirect schedules and habits -he pointed-. If there was a time when all this had a clear path or there were permits, it is as with the diet, that if you live on a diet it stops being a diet and becomes a way of life, however if there is a permitted diet the diet makes sense; and the same goes for the routines: if I can give the routine flexibility during weekends and holidays, it stops being monotonous and becomes a healthy and elementary habit to go through the year as well as possible ”.
Recent studies compared a group of well-rested adolescents versus a normal group of boys with an average of 45 minutes less sleep than is necessary for their age and the latter reached up to 30% lower performance than the well rested group.
“It’s important to know that teenagers normally have their late sleep schedule, both for the beginning of sleep and for waking up, it’s not that they are lazy, it’s just their normal biological clock. Probably because of the restriction of sleep hours caused by your school or university responsibilities, at the weekend try to recover the lost hours and sleep more than the account, ”explained Ferrero.
And after emphasizing that “it is important to recover in children the habits, routines and rest schedules after vacation break”, gave some recommendations.
“Although the routines are not something new, we cannot return to the established order from one day to the next. To feel healthy, balanced and happy, children have to be in line with their biological rhythms.. Therefore, it is recommended to have approximately one week to slowly return to the time when the child or adolescent will have to respect for their school obligations, starting by advancing bedtime and restricting the use of screens up to two hours before schedule to be set In parallel and gradually advance their wake-up time to reduce the stress of the first day, always after having managed to get to bed earlier, ”he began.
In addition, “it is recommended not to give them any stimulants prior to rest, such as chocolates or caffeine (coffee, mate, tea, energizers) and if possible cool the room to 21 ° C to fire the order to the brain that it is time about sleeping. That can be accompanied previously with a hot bath. It is essential to return to respect a solid routine agenda in terms of intakes, activities and sleep, according to the new schedules, ”he added.
As a closing, Rossetto remarked that “Mothers are still the ones that carry the most mental burden with medical shifts, with backpacks, agendas, school meetings, buying supplies, homework, and with an infinite number of issues”, for which he reminded them: “You don’t need power with everything. It is not healthy to be able to do everything and we also have to allow ourselves more flexibility within our mental load, our maternal role and the complexity that everyday and school life implies. ”