1. Set A Bedtime Routine
Establishing a bedtime routine can help your kids sleep well at night. Start by setting a specific time when the kids should start preparing for bed. Next, create a routine that they can follow to prepare them for bed. This can be a warm bath and a bedtime story for younger kids, and a quiet chat before lights out with the older children.
2. Set A Relaxing Mood Before Going To Bed
Encourage and allow your kids to wind-down before taking them to bed or switching the lights off. A Bedtime story will work with most kids under five years. You can also do deep breathing exercises or even listen to gentle, relaxing music with the older kids. This will allow their minds to enter into relaxing mode. Switch to a longer wind-down period if the kids take long (more than 30 minutes) to fall asleep. Ensuring that their bed and bedding is comfortable will help them to relax, take a look at these Serta mattress reviews if their mattress has seen better days.
3. Maintain Regular Sleep And Wake Times
Have your kids go to bed and wake up at a specific time each day. This will help maintain a steady circadian rhythm, making it easier for them to fall asleep. Encourage them to stick to these sleep and wake times, even during holidays and weekends.
4. Allow Early And Short Naps For Older Children
Naps are good for kids under five years. Some will, however, continue enjoying their nap times past the 5-year mark. You, however, shouldn’t discourage the naps, but have them nap in the early hours of the afternoon and for less than 20 minutes. Longer naps might disrupt their circadian rhythm making it harder to sleep well at night.
5. Ensure Your Children Feel Safe At Night
Your kid needs to feel safe even after lights out. While some kids are naturally brave, you might have to instill a sense of braveness into your child if he/she isn’t. Do so by rewarding them if he/she can go to bed and sleep with the lights off. Avoid movies, TV shows, and computer games that might be scary and especially before bedtime. Buy him/her a night light if too scared to sleep in the dark alone.
6. Ensure Their Bedroom Is As Quiet And Dark As Possible
Make a point of making your kid’s bedroom as quiet and dark as possible. Consider investing in blackout curtains and discourage the use of electronic devices in the bedroom. This includes phones, tablets, computers, and televisions. Have the kids turn off all electronic devices an hour before their bedtime.
7. Discourage Clock-Watching
Some kids (including adults) will start watching the clock when they can’t find sleep. Discourage this by placing the clock away from his/her line of sight.
8. Discourage Overeating
Always have your kids have their evening meal a few hours to their bedtime. Ensure they have the right portion to reduce the risk of eating too much/little. Letting your kid overeat, or go to bed hungry, will only make it harder for him/her to sleep well. Be sure to serve a healthy breakfast first thing when they wake up.