The back-to-school season is such an exciting (and slightly daunting) time for parents and children. After all, a new school year brings new learning opportunities, new friends, and a new (or revamped) nighttime routine for your kids.
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for everyone, but it’s even more important for your child’s mental and physical development. Receiving the recommended amount of sleep enables your child to focus and be active at school and in their everyday lives.
So, to help ensure the kid (or kids) in your life gets adequate shuteye this school year, we’ve put together a list of sleep-enhancing back-to-school gifts for students of all ages.
Back-to-school gifts for children and tweens
Calming nightlight and star projector
Back in college, I used to babysit a 5-year-old who’d ask me to turn on her ladybug star projector every night—so I can vouch that this calming nightlight and star projector is a must-have! It’s a great gift for kids who prefer some light when sleeping or feel uneasy about the upcoming school year. Offering gentle room illumination and aiding peaceful sleep, it features four ladybug hues, eight constellations, a rotating color mode, and a 45-minute auto-shutdown. This nightlight ensures bedtime is soothing and comforting while kicking those back-to-school scaries to the curb.
Waffle knit blanket
Kids love to be coddled by their parents before bed to feel safe—so what better way to elevate that quality time than with our
A plush yet lightweight cotton blanket with elegant texture
Weighted stuffed dinosaur
While some kids just need a little light to alleviate them of any back-to-school jitters before bed, others could appreciate a furry friend to sleep with every night. This weighted stuffed dinosaur offers just that and more.
Not only will this weighted stuffed animal offer companionship and comfort to your child at bedtime and throughout the night, but its weighted quality applies pressure to their little body, giving them a calming feel similar to that of a hug. Plus, your child has four colors to choose from!
Going to bed can seem boring to a child, who would much rather stay up and play with their toys or watch TV. I’ve had children I’ve babysat run and hide when it was time for bed—that is until I brought out my secret weapon: fun pajamas!
From Peppa Pig to Daniel the Tiger, make bedtime fun and exciting with your child’s favorite cartoon character, food, or animal-printed PJs. Trust me when I say the right sleepwear makes a world of a difference to your kids, who would sleep in their favorite princess dresses or superhero costumes if they could.
Prices vary, amazon.com
PSA for parents: Kids need spa days too, especially during the back-to-school season. So, give your little one all the relaxation they need every night with Dr. Teal’s 3-in-1 Sleep Bath.
Bath time is already a great step in your kid’s (and anyone’s) sleep routine as it allows them to unwind and for their body temperature to drop, which prepares them for sleepy time. Now with this sleep bath, you can make it even easier for your child to go to bed since it contains melatonin and essential oils that promote better sleep. It’s also hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, and paraben-, dye-, and phthalate-free.
Self-help coloring book
The back-to-school scaries are a real thing for children of all ages, whether they’re starting school, changing schools, or parting from old friends and teachers. However, expressing these feelings can be tough for a kid, and that’s where the Angry Octopus Color Me Happy, Color Me Calm book can help.
Similar to journaling, this self-help coloring book (for ages 4 to 11) allows children to channel their emotions onto paper so it doesn’t disrupt their daily life and sleep. It imparts techniques for anger management, stress reduction, and increased happiness to overall enhance emotional intelligence. The book also offers sections for parents to read to their children, making it an ideal pre-bedtime activity for relaxation and bonding.
It’s no secret that reading before bed calms the mind and stimulates imagination, aiding sleep on stressful nights. Yet, for children, bedtime reading offers even more. Reading books to children supports mental imagery, narrative comprehension, and worldly awareness. It also boosts their language, listening, and memory skills. Not to mention, it’s bonding time!
Based on the many books I’ve read to children at bedtime (over and over again, I’ll point out), here’s a list of my favorite bedtime stories:
(Pro tip: For older children who can follow along with wordier books, choose a longer book and read them a chapter or a few pages every night!)
Prices vary, amazon.com
To create the most peaceful sleep conditions for your child, it’s important to consider noise. A noisy house can make it difficult for them to fall asleep quickly (which is the last thing you want during the school season). But luckily, the Hatch Rest Go can be a quick fix.
With 10 sounds to choose from—including white noise—and five color options, the Hatch Rest Go can give your child the most serene slumber by masking unwanted sounds. It’s also small and portable, making it easier to travel with for road trips, flights, and even slumber parties!
Down alternative pillow
Pillows are great gift ideas for children of all ages as they allow for proper spinal alignment and neck support, which is important for their development. Give your child the best sleep foundation and that “sleeping on a cloud” feel with our
Hypoallergenic with a plush and airy feel that’s perfect for cuddling
Back-to-school gifts for teens and young adults
Blue light-blocking glasses
Let’s face it: Many teens (and parents!) use their phones for social media, homework, television, and more before bed. While a little screen time seems harmless, the blue light from these devices can interfere with melatonin production, aka the sleep hormone.
While we aren’t encouraging late-night phone use, we think these blue light-blocking glasses are the perfect gift for a student (especially in high school or college) who only has time to do their work at night or treats themselves to a good show before bed. With four styles to choose from, these glasses will block blue light and reduce eyestrain, making it easier for your teen to snooze.
Graphite mattress topper
College students often deal with uncomfortable dorm and student apartment mattresses, causing sleep disturbances. The problem is, a new mattress isn’t the easiest solution for many as dorms are typically temporary living arrangements, and apartments lack storage to put away an old mattress—but maybe a mattress topper is!
Body-hugging comfort with advanced cooling technology
No one loves throwing on a cozy hoodie for bed (or any time of day) more than teens. When I was at that age, my Nike Fleece hoodie was my go-to, and for good reason. Ranging from sizes XS to 4XL Tall, this closet staple acts as a security blanket to not only keep you warm and toasty throughout the night but provide emotional comfort as well. It’s a wonderful present for teens going away for college as a subtle reminder that the person who gave it to them is always right by their side.
Essential sheet set
Sheets can make all the difference when it comes to how well your kid will snooze, especially if they’re hot sleepers. That’s why our
Soft & breathable cotton-viscose blend sheets are an upgraded staple
Essential oil diffuser
All-natural essential oils provide a plethora of benefits to our bodies. Lavender soothes and induces sleep; peppermint enhances memory and digestion; eucalyptus combats colds, flu, and pain. Amid school stress, this essential oil diffuser can help your child manage their overall well-being. With seven LED colors, various mist modes, a remote, and a safety feature that prevents it from overheating when it runs out of water, this diffuser can set the mood for their sleep space, which in return helps them set themselves up for academic success.
Silk eye mask
For kids who share a bedroom with their siblings, or teens who are off to college with roommates, it can be difficult for them to agree on when lights should be out (or if any lights should be left on). If your child is experiencing some sleep disturbance due to light in their bedroom, our
Blocks out light for restful sleep while protecting the delicate skin around the eyes
Waffle knit duvet cover set
Back-to-school season is an incredibly exciting time for all students, but even more so for college kids with a new school, new environment, and a new sleep space! Decorating dorm rooms or college apartments can be fun, but it should also be functional. Our
Plush yet lightweight duvet cover and shams with elegant texture
Fun lights are undeniably great for any age, but I found them to be most comforting as a teen in college who was homesick, feeling under the weather, or stressed. Not to mention, they made my room look luxurious! Therefore, if you have a kid who appreciates some light in their sleep space or who would love to add to the aesthetic of their room, these LED curtain lights and strip lights are amazing! The curtain lights come in four different colors, have eight light settings and a remote, and can last up to 50,000 hours. The strip lights, on the other hand, are color-changing lights that you stick to your wall or furniture and control with a remote. They also have a music sync and timer feature. Both options are safe, don’t overheat, and will add that “cozy” vibe to your kid’s bedroom.
Prices vary, amazon.com
School can get the best of your kids, especially when mixed with personal obligations, social life, and extracurriculars, causing stress and anxiety that affects their sleep health. Luckily, a weighted blanket might be just what they need. Our
Plush, all-natural weighted blanket for deeper, more restful sleep
Help your child get better sleep this school year with these Saatva products
Back-to-school sleep tips
Besides a gift for better sleep, helping your child organize their school nights and mornings is also essential. That’s why we’ve compiled these five back-to-school sleep tips to help you and your kid cruise through this upcoming school year.
- Plan mornings wisely: Prep your younger kids’ breakfast and lunch, pack their backpacks, and lay out their school outfits in advance for a less chaotic, less rushed morning. For older kids, encourage them to learn how to prep for their mornings.
- Build a sleep routine: Create a simple yet effective sleep routine with your kid with steps and activities that prepare them for bed.
- Set a bedtime: Before the school year begins, gradually adjust your child’s bedtime to a set time that allows for their recommended hours of sleep.
- Set a wake-up time: Also before the school year begins, gradually adjust your child’s wake-up time to give them the opportunity to mentally and physically prepare themselves for the school day.
- No screen time before bed: Blue light affects melatonin production, so turn off the electronics as your child’s bedtime approaches so they can snooze easier and faster.
Need more help?
We have a variety of articles to help the students in your life get better sleep. Check these out!
- 12 Back-to-School Sleep Tips for Kids of All Ages
- How Much Sleep Your Child Needs, According to Their Age
- How to Spot the Signs of Sleep Deprivation in Children
- 4 Ways to Set a Bedtime Routine for Teenagers
- 6 Best Sleep Tips for College Students
What’s a good back-to-school gift?
There are numerous back-to-school gift options to choose from for your child, including weighted blankets, white noise machines, eye masks, nightlights, mattress toppers, hoodies, and more.
Shop Saatva for all your back-to-school sleep essentials
Saatva offers everything you need to get your family’s sleep on track during the back-to-school season and all year long, from kids’ mattresses to eye masks. Check out our current sale offerings and find more gift ideas here.