Sleep is essential in a child’s physical, mental, and emotional health. It promotes growth, prevents illness, and boosts learning capabilities. In fact, sufficient sleep considered equally important for kids as good nutrition and regular exercise. Many parents are struggling to get little ones settling off to sleep and also waking in the night. Changes in schedules and routines has been disruptive to sleep routines for some and anxiety and stress levels are much higher at the moment.
Luckily, there are a lot of different ways to help your kids wind down and fall asleep on time. Below are a few common tips to help your kids wind down in time to get the good night’s sleep they need.
1. NO SCREENS AFTER 5PM
The blue light from screens suppresses the body's release of melatonin (a sleep inducing hormone). Seeing blue light in the evening will signal to their brain that it's still daytime, disrupting their circadian rhythm and leaving them feeling alert instead of tired.
2. KEEP REGULAR SLEEP AND WAKE TIMES
Kids are creatures of habit, and routine is the structure of their schedules. Make sure this applies to their sleep, too. Toddlers should be getting at least 10 to 12 hours of sleep a night. It’s important that you monitor their sleep patterns to ensure that they’re getting the sleep that their developing brains and bodies require.
3. SAY GOODNIGHT TO EVERYTHING
As you go through the steps of your bedtime routine, encourage your toddler to say goodnight to everything they see. Goodnight to the toothbrush, goodnight to the potty, goodnight to books and toys, etc. Remind them that it’s night-night for all their things, and it may help them feel a little better about going night-night themself. This can also help minimize the requests for ‘just one more’ – for instance, ‘just one more’ trip to the potty, you can let them know that the potty has gone night-night.
4. TRY OUT MEDITATION, BREATHING OR YOGA
For some kids, the amount of energy they have at night, both mentally and physically can make it really hard to wind down and go to sleep. In most cases, they aren’t sure how to relax and don’t have the tools to calm themselves down in order to welcome sleep. Yoga, stretching, and meditation all focus on breathing and loosening the body, leading to natural stress release and muscle relaxation. These benefits can vastly improve a child’s ability to fight off nighttime anxieties and relax into sleep.
5. MAKE YOUR CHILD FEEL SAFE AT NIGHT WITH THE HELP OF MAGICAL FOLK
Ending the night with a special night time message is a great way to bond with your child and help them feel secure in their bedroom. One way to do this is to make a call out to magical folk such as fairies and unicorns, to come and watch over them and give them good dreams. This is an approach endorsed by paediatric sleep experts and our whimsically themed little belle nightlights are perfect to help with this.
By making this a part of their bedtime routine, you will also help signal to their brains that it’s wind down time, making it easier for them to feel sleepy naturally.