7 Tips To Help Your Kids Go To Sleep!
Bedtimes don’t have to become battle zones but chances are if you’re a parent you’ve had your fair share of screaming matches. Whether it’s babies who refuse to sleep for longer than 30 minutes or teens who think midnight is an acceptable bed time we could all use a little help.
1. SET INDIVIDUAL BEDTIMES
Different aged children need different hours of sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation school age children need between 9-11 hours of sleep each night. And chances are if you have an early riser it makes no difference what time they go to bed, they will continue to wake up at that time. So the best thing for them is to ensure they get to bed at a reasonable time to make sure they’re rested.
2. ROUTINE ROUTINE ROUTINE
Setting up a good routine at bedtime is so important for kids, especially infants, toddlers and pre schoolers. The time after dinner should be set aside for quiet activities, such as bath time, a story or a family movie. Aim to set a mood of relaxation that sets the kids up for quiet time. Try and avoid any sugary food and strenuous activities. Before long, hopefully your child’s body will automatically start to become sleepy at the beginning of the routine.
3. KEEP COOL
The temperature in your child’s room can have a huge effect on how they sleep. While melatonin levels help to regulate the drop of internal body temperature needed to sleep you can help to regulate the external temperature. Try to keep your child’s room cool between 18 – 21 degrees celsius and dress them in breathable cotton pyjamas.
5. AVOID LONG SLEEP INS FOR TEENS
It’s tempting to let your teenager sleep in on the weekends. But while a little sleep in is okay and probably necessary, aim to get them out of bed at a reasonable time to avoid disrupting their body clock for the rest of the week. I know this one is easier said than done- trust me. But it’s better for everyone in the long run.
6. KEEP THE BODY WARM
While it’s important to keep your child’s room cool it also helps them fall asleep if their bodies are warm. A person warmed by a hot bath tends to falls asleep more quickly than someone who is cold. Sometimes even a hot foot bath can help induce a good night’s sleep. Keep the body warm and the room cool.
7. MANAGE STRESS
In older children, stress and anxiety could be playing a part with their sleep habits. Try and encourage your child to practice meditation, mindfulness or any other relaxing stress management techniques. This could be keeping a journal to write down or record any worries, anger, irritations, or other negative thoughts. Sometimes it helps to get them out of your head and down on paper. Likewise write down a list of things you appreciate or for which you are grateful for.
If you’ve tried everything to help your child get to sleep and nothing seems to work, please know that ‘this too shall pass.’ Sometimes children regress with their sleep or sometimes they’re struggling to process a significant event. As a parent trust your intuition and if think you may need additional support please speak to a sleep specialist.