Easter – Chocolate and Sleep!

Easter is a joyous occasion. Its guaranteed to have the kids hopping with excitement. There are so many things to look forward to – having a break, seeing loved ones and of course egg hunts! It’s a time for fun, laughter and…overtired melt downs! Sound familiar? Maintaining balance during this sugar-fuelled holiday and preventing over-tiredness can be a tough task for parents.

Here are some top tips to help.

1. Stick to your usual bedtime to stay on top of overtiredness

Kids thrive on routine and so do their body clocks. Research has shown that sticking to a regular bedtime will help kids fall asleep quicker and for longer.

Having the occasional late night over Easter is inevitable and also fine. But understanding the impact of over-tiredness will help you make an informed decision about when you choose to do this.

In a nutshell when kids are tired and they don’t go to sleep their bodies release a hormone called cortisol and this acts like an adrenaline shot to wake them up.

Have you ever seen a child up past bedtime looking energetic and wide eyed? This is the impact of adrenaline. The more adrenaline they make – the harder it will be to sleep and the more disturbed their night will be. The result will be an overtired and miserable child in the morning.

Keeping a consistent bedtime over Easter will help to ensure over-tiredness (and all the things that come with it like melt downs) are minimized.

2. Watch out for hidden sugar

An Easter without some indulgence – well that wouldn’t be fun at all. But how much sugar should we allow our children to have over a traditionally sugar filled holiday? Like all decisions it’s a personal one but knowing the facts can help you with this decision.

First of all when you factor in how much sugar you will allow your child to consume over Easter it’s important to remember it’s not just sweets and chocolates you need to be thinking about. Sugar is hidden in everything from simple carbs like white bread, regular pasta, white rice, jam, bbq sauce, ketchup,
kids cereals, yogurts and even fruit juices etc.

Its likely to be in many of the foods your child will be consuming over this period. And keeping track of it all can be a tough task for parents.

From a health perspective the effects of sugar are wide ranging. Besides the obvious things like rotten teeth, obesity and diabetes – did you know it will impact on your child’s immunity? It can also impact on the quality of your child’s sleep. In fact the more sugar your child consumes during the day, the more
frequently they will wake in the night due to the blood sugar highs and crashes which will pull them out of their much needed deep sleep cycles… and the result will be some pretty exhausted kids the next day.

Watching out for hidden sugar as well as limiting treats especially before bed will help your children not only sleep better but feel better too.

3. Be creative with your excess

If you are a lucky family with an excess of eggs get creative to lessen the load so that excess sugar doesn’t tempt the family for weeks to come. There is no end to what you can do here – simply google it but our family favourites include:

Fondue – Melt all the eggs into a large fondue and enjoying dipping in fruit.
Buttons – Melt in the microwave and drop dollops onto a lined baking sheet.

Sprinkle with hundreds and thousands before leaving to set and then hand them out in empty jam jars (decorated by the kids of course) as gifts.

4. Start fresh on Easter Monday

Don’t let any holiday habits become the new norm especially when it comes to sleep. Set a limit and get yourself back on track with your bedtime and nap routine as soon as possible. Also give your kids the opportunity for some quiet time to recharge if it’s been a busy time. Remember peaceful days will lead to
peaceful nights.

Wishing you all a very happy Easter.
Leigh. X

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