Tips to Help Kids Sleep
By Sara Butler
Sometimes getting your children to go to bed and stay there is a monumental task. At bedtime, some kids can suddenly become very thirsty philosophers that want to discuss the mysteries of the universe instead of going to sleep. The problem is that kids need their sleep in order to grow, rejuvenate, and stay healthy. Here are some tips you might be able to utilize to get your nighttime philosophers in bed and asleep!
It’s All about Schedules!
You have to have regular bedtimes and wake times for your children (and yourself!) in order to help them establish a routine and build good sleep habits. Children need anywhere from 8 to 12 hours of sleep every night. A good way to tell how much sleep your child should be getting is how they act during the day with how much sleep they’ve had the night before. You’ll know when you’ve found the magic number.
Routines are Key
Children find comfort in routine, which is why doing the same thing every night is what you have to do to establish bedtime. It can involve reading a book, singing a song, taking a bath – whatever your little one wants to do. Just keep the routine simple and free from distraction so they can relax and go to sleep.
Limit the Screen Time
Exposure to artificial light inhibits your child’s brain from producing the chemicals it needs to induce sleep. If your kid watches television to fall asleep or uses a tablet or smartphone before bed, it’s going to keep them aware. Turn off all devices at least an hour before bed to help make falling asleep easier.
Cool it Off
In order to go to sleep and help your body stay asleep, you need to keep the room you sleep in cool. Research has shown around 70 degrees to be the perfect temperature for sleeping. Make sure your child has dressed appropriately for a cool bedroom in case they kick off their blankets in the night.
Nothing is Working!
If you’ve tried all of the above and are still struggling with your tiny philosopher, you can try to do something a little different. Add something new to your routine such as some gentle yoga before bed to get them relaxed. Something like that can help your child make the shift from busy days to sleep time. You can also try some deep breathing exercises to help get them in the sleep mode.