Tips for Better Sleep for Children
1 – Design a Routine for Bedtime
To encourage better sleep patterns, work on designing a steady bedtime routine that begins at around the same time every night. A simple routine that occurs each night, consisting of bathtime, reading stories, and then bed may help your younger children transition to sleep. A bedtime routine for older children may involve a quiet talk with you about the events of the day, then some alone time relaxing before turning out the lights.
2 – Wind Down
Stress the importance of winding down before bedtime arrives. Older children may enjoy reading a book, listening to soft music or learning a breathing routine to help them relax before sleep. If you find that your child frequently takes more than a half-hour to fall asleep, he may need more time to wind down before lights out.
3 – Build Consistent Routines for Sleeping and Waking
Keep bedtimes and waking time within one to two hours of the same time each day. This helps regulate your child’s internal clock. This is a good plan for weekends, holidays, and school days.
4 – Limit Napping
Many children are no longer napping after the age of five. If your child is older but still naps during the day, do your best to limit the naps to no more than twenty minutes and kep them in the early afternoon. Naps that are longer or later in the day may make it difficult for your child to sleep through the night.
5 – Help Your Child Feel Safe and Comfortable
If your child is feeling scared of the dark or about going to sleep, help by rewarding them when they are brave. Also, avoid scary media as much as possible. Some children who have issues sleeping feel better if they have a light on in their room at night. Make sure they are comfortable with a Sleep Number mattress and soft bedding.
6 – Evaluate Noise and Light Levels in Their Room
A dimly lit, cool, quiet space is vital for quality sleep. Determine whether your child’s room has too much light or is too loud for them to sleep well. Blue lights from computer screens, phones, and other electronics may be suppressing their melatonin levels and causing them to have trouble feeling sleepy. Turn these off at least an hour before it’s time for bed, and keep screens out of your child’s room entirely at night.
7 – Limit Exposure to the Clock
If you find that your child frequently checks the time through the night, encourage them to move the clock, turn it around, or put it in a spot where they can’t see it at night.
8 – Eat the Correct Food at the Correct Time
Be sure your child has a filling meal at a decent hour. If they are feeling overly full or too hungry before bed, they may be uncomfortable and have trouble sleeping. Breakfast in the morning will help to get their internal clock started again at the correct time, as well.
9 – Enjoy Natural Light Exposure
Encourage your child to expose themselves to as much daytime sunlight as they can, especially first thing in the morning. Bright natural light will suppress melatonin, helping your child to feel more awake during the day and more tired as bedtime approaches.
10 – Avoid Caffeine `
Caffeine can be found in energy drinks, chocolate, sodas, coffee, and teas. Ask your child to avoid these items in the evening and don’t offer them to them in the afternoon or evening.