For most kids, Halloween is one of the most special day of the year…Spending time with friends and family, dressing up, going out in the dark, gathering lots of sweet treats, and throwing the schedule out the window.  What can be more fun?!

But, I caution parents against completely disregarding your sleep schedule. If we’re negligent, kids will become literal nightmares around bedtime. My goal is to provide Halloween tips and tricks so that you can have a fun, fulfilling time while still getting the restful, consolidated sleep your whole family needs and deserves.

Now, let me set the record straight. It’s fine to let your kids go wild once in a while, but letting them ride that sugar wave until they crash won’t be fun for anyone. Sugar has been linked to reduced quality and more restless, disrupted sleep. You can read more on that here. It’s entirely possible to have a fun and exciting night without sacrificing the bedtime routine you’ve so carefully created. Here are some tips:

1. Plan Ahead

If your children usually go to bed at 7:30, you need to make sure you structure the evening around that goal. Have an early dinner, and make sure you feed them lots of healthy food before they go out. Have a specific time in mind to leave the house for trick-or-treating or a party, know how long you plan to stay, and your limit on how late you’re willing to extend bedtime. If you decide you could live with them going to bed a little later, make sure you’re back home with lots of time for the bedtime routine.

2. Reasonable Bedtime

It’s important that you don’t let bedtime go later than 30 minutes past their usual time, or their sleep debt will be too high the next day and it will take three to four days to catch up.

3. Set Candy Limits

Three treats on Halloween is usually enough for your child to feel like it’s a special night, but not so much that they’ll be wired on sugar. Letting your child gorge on candy the first night doesn’t do her any favors and will make bedtime much more difficult for everyone. Instead, it can be fun to let your child sort, categorize and count their candy. This isn’t only fun, it’s a great math activity.

4. Stick to the bedtime routine

Don’t rush bedtime too much. It’s very difficult for children, especially if they are wound up from an exciting evening, to just jump right into bed and go to sleep.

Keep relaxation techniques in mind and feel free to add them to your routine on Halloween.  This can be in the form of some yoga, meditation, or deep breathing.  Also, a warm bath, a couple of stories and maybe a glass of warm milk will help the body and brain transition from day to night, and will help calm down your hyper child so sleep will come more easily.

 

Halloween is one of the best nights of the year! The goal should be to have an exciting, structured night where your child gets to gather all the candy and enjoy the company of friends, while still getting restful, consolidated sleep.