A good night’s sleep is important for us all, especially kids, as it helps keep them happy and healthy. Establishing a relaxing bedtime routine is one of the best ways to help kids get a good night’s sleep. Check out our sleep expert, Dr. Kennedy’s, top sleep tips:
1. Keep a consistent bedtime routine:
When kids go to bed at roughly the same time each night, they settle into a rhythm.
This makes it easier to fall asleep.
2. Limit screen time in the evening: Mobile devices emit blue wavelengths of light that are particularly disruptive to the body’s sleep/wake cycle. These devices are held close to the face and when the light enters your child’s eye, signals are sent to the brain to shut down the production of melatonin, which is the body’s natural sleep hormone. This can disrupt the body clock and causes sleep delays and disruptions.
3. Leave kids with something to focus on: It can be sad, scary, or just boring to be alone in a dark, silent room. Using an audio app like Moshi Sleep gives kids a point of focus, keeping their minds calm and occupied, allowing them to drift off dreaming of happy thoughts.
4. Don’t stick around: Your child might ask that you stay while they fall asleep, but your presence can actually delay their sleep. Although you can be soothing to your child, you can also be stimulating. It’s best to try to leave them in their bedroom to fall asleep naturally.
5. A bedtime pal: A teddy bear can help your child feel comforted and help them fall asleep quicker.
6. Sleeping on command: It’s important to consider that your child might not be quite ready to sleep when they get into bed. Simply allowing kids to do something relaxing until they feel sleepy will prevent some anxiety that comes from trying to force kids to sleep. You can let them listen to bedtime stories until drift off to sleep.
7. Avoid big meals close to bedtime: A heavy meal may prevent your child from falling asleep.
8. The right amount of sleep:
While there is no hard rule, the general guidelines from Sleep Experts are:
- 3-5 years – 11-13 hrs
- 6-9 years – 10-11 hrs
- From 10 years – around 9 hrs
9. Stay Comfy and Cosy: A comfortable mattress, comfy clothing and extra blankets can make it easier for kids to fall asleep.
10. Avoid caffeine: Caffeinated drinks including most sodas should be limited after-school and especially at night.