6 Tips to Help Get Your Kids to Sleep
Having trouble getting your child to bed on time? Bedtime should be the most relaxing time of day, but for some families, putting a child to bed can be a difficult task. Follow these six tips to promote healthy sleep and get your child relaxed and ready for bed each night.
1. Follow a Bedtime Routine
Creating and following a nightly bedtime routine is crucial for promoting healthy sleep. Kids thrive on structure and routine so craft a routine that works best for your child. Since every child is different, these nighttime routines can take many forms. The routine should start around the same time every night in order to provide a signal to your child that bedtime is approaching. Bedtime routines can include taking a relaxing bath, changing into pajamas, brushing teeth and even having a story time in bed. No matter what activities work best for your child’s bedtime ritual, remember that the key here is to be consistent. Continue the routine in the morning by maintaining a consistent wake-up time every day.
2. Use Essential Oils
To promote an environment of calm relaxation, consider diffusing essential oils in your child’s bedroom. This can be done topically on the skin or aromatically by using diffusers for essential oil. There are several essential oils that will encourage feelings of peace and relaxation for kids. The standard bedtime herb and oil is lavender. Another option is Roman chamomile, which has been used for centuries to soothe children at bedtime. The comforting scents of essential oils will relax your child’s body and mind and set the mood for a good night of sleep.
3. Limit the Use of Electronics
It’s never a good idea to allow children to use electronics right before bed. The light from portable electronics stimulates the brain, making your child feel energized when they should be winding down for the day. If possible, try to keep electronics like televisions or computers out of your child’s room. It is also recommended that children power down all screens at least one hour before heading to bed. Shutting off electronics will allow your kids to power down the brain and ease into a restful night of sleep.
4. Adjust Noise and Light Levels
Every child should have an environment that promotes healthy sleep. Make sure your child’s room is free from excessive noise and light. A nightlight or dim light is perfectly fine if your child needs a little light to be comfortable while in bed. If your child has difficulty sleeping in a completely silent room, consider using a noise machine or fan to create steady, rhythmic noise that will lull your child to sleep and keep them asleep throughout the night.
5. Encourage Exercise
If your child is getting proper exercise during the day, they’ll have a better chance of getting good rest at night. Exercise not only helps kids burn off energy, it also promotes a child’s mental health by reducing anxiety levels. Encourage your child to play outside or participate in sports. Kids require some time to wind down from exercise and play so try to end all stimulating activities about three hours before bedtime.
6. Monitor Intake of Food and Drink
Making sure your child has the right amount of food at dinnertime will provide them with the comfort they need as they head to bed. Your child shouldn’t go to bed on an empty stomach, but they should not be uncomfortably full at bedtime, either. In addition, pay close attention to the amount of caffeine and sugar that your child ingests throughout the day. Cut off all caffeinated or sugary drinks about three hours before bedtime. If your child gets hungry or thirsty before bedtime, it is perfectly fine to offer a light snack such as fruit or crackers and a warm glass of milk.
Your child needs proper sleep in order to live a healthy life. By following these tips, you’ll take the stress out of bedtime and promote healthy sleeping habits for your child.