Routines are present in almost every part of our daily lives, whether you know it or not. We wake up and have a morning structure that helps us get ready for the day ahead. Our kids have a school routine while we have a work or stay-at-home-parent schedule to adhere to. We take lunch at approximately the same hour every day and leave our office work and school work behind us at around the same time. We also have evening routines: set dinnertime, weekly family game night, and even sitting down to watch the latest episode of our favorite show.
Routines help us deal with obstacles in our lives. They help us form healthy habits and give us a sense of accomplishment on a regular basis. Setting a routine in place makes daunting tasks seem more like a walk in the park.
For many adults and children, routines can act as an anchor. Even if the unexpected occurs, having something set in place that we know will always be there can be a comforting thought. Knowing that we’ll sit around the table for dinner at 7pm after a day that might have been the opposite of what was expected can help us wade through unpredictable times.
But even with routines as a staple part of our lives, we all have the tendency to neglect the most important one of all – our sleep routine.
Why is sleep important?
Sleep is vitally important to both our physical and mental health. Sleeping and waking at similar times each day allows our body to create its own internal sleep clock, our circadian rhythm. The correct amount of sleep allows our minds and bodies to rest and reset, allowing us to be at full energy capacity for the next day. Making sure we get to bed at the same time, especially for children, isn’t always the easiest thing if we don’t have proper sleep hygiene – the habits and practices that ensure we get high-quality sleep.
Shutting off kids’ minds and allowing their bodies to get the rest they need is even more important for our children as they are still in the developmental process. Finding a bedtime routine that works for kids and adults isn’t always easy, so we want to provide some helpful sleep advice to guide you in the right direction.
Make Bedtime Fun.
Creating a routine that your little one looks forward to can help alleviate the struggle at bedtime. When it’s time for sleep, kids can push back for various reasons, like feeling as if they are missing out on something by going to bed. By padding out their routine with some more enjoyable activities, kids are less likely to become bored with the process. Try creating a gratitude and mindfulness moment where you talk about the amazing things that happened that day; select and read a bedtime story together; end the routine with one of our soothing bedtime stories and lullabies to help them drift off to dreamland.
Consistency is key.
Good sleep hygiene comes from consistency. Having the same bedtime routine each night sends signals to our bodies and minds that it’s almost time for rest. By setting certain bedtime tasks in place and sticking to the process it will, in time, allow our children’s bodies to naturally begin the relaxation process before their heads even hit the pillow.