- 3 mins
Natural Ways to Help Children Sleep Better
Even now, I immediately know if my ten-year-old didn’t get enough sleep that night. Grumpy, overly sensitive, and a foggy brain are what I can expect from the day ahead! It’s super important we help our children sleep as well as possible. For their wellbeing as well as ours! Negative sleep patterns or not enough sleep can contribute to a lack of focus, poor memory retention, and lower immunity.
Here are a few natural tips that might help your little one drift off into a deeply relaxing sleep:
Healthy body, healthy sleep
Getting exercise and lots of fresh air can help children sleep better at night. Even in the winter months, it’s still important to get as much sunlight as possible to promote vitamin D levels and create a sleepy feeling at bedtime. A study found that a vitamin D deficiency can result in poorer sleep efficiency. If you live somewhere with low levels of sunlight you may wish to find a supplement that works for the family.
Another great supplement to consider is magnesium. You can pop some magnesium flakes into a warm bath at bedtime to promote sleepiness. The Sleep Foundation found that this nutrient can help us sleep for longer periods. It is also a lovely, natural muscle relaxant. As with all substances and supplements, it is important to consult a suitably qualified professional to check contra-indications and suitability for your child. Magnesium can also be found in greens and whole grains so having a healthy diet is also great for snoozeville.
Routine, routine, routine
Kids love predictability so having a consistent bedtime routine can help your child feel secure and safe before bedtime. The National Sleep Foundation has found that children who follow bedtime routines are more likely to go to sleep earlier and wake up less during the night.
Our top bedtime routine tips are:
- Turn off all electronics. The blue light in electronics suppresses the production of melatonin. The artificial light dupes our minds and bodies into thinking that it’s not nighttime so there’s no need to produce this sleep-inducing hormone. Studies indicate that screen media use is connected to decreased sleep time. If you use electronics to help your little one drift off (including apps like Moshi), be sure to turn the screen off and connect to a Bluetooth speaker, if one is available.
- Have a relaxing bath. The change in body temperature will help your child fall asleep more quickly. When they get out of the warm water, their body temperature will mimic the natural cool-down before sleep begins. Remember to always check the water temperature beforehand.
- Reduce nighttime snacks. Instead, fill them up during the day with lots of healthy and nutritious foods rich in protein. Offering lots of water to your child during the day and restricting this before bed is also great for a calm body at night.
- Read a story, sing them a song, or pop on a wonderfully relaxing bedtime Moshi meditation. There are so many to choose from. Why not try Growing a Flower Garden with ShiShi or Building a Beach Club with YoYo.
- Relaxing sounds like white noise or soothing music can also assist in a speedier trip to slumberland. Flumpy’s White Noise Machine is a deeply restful sound designed to soothe your child to sleep and Moshi Sleep Ambience is lovely for an incredibly restful sleep.
Console and comfort
Time with your child at bedtime provides an opportunity for them to talk about something that might be bothering them. Listening to their worries or concerns can help them feel heard and validated. This feeling of safety reduces stress or tension in the mind and body. Going to bed with a mind full of worry may result in a restless sleep so a few minutes at the end of the day to just sit and listen can help. Your child might also love to be comforted with some cozy blankets, a low-lit room, and a nice big hug goodnight.