If your child fights bedtime or just doesn’t get restful sleep, we’ve got some tips that might help get your child’s sleep back on track.
Cut back on sugar before bedtime
Sugar is a sleep-killer. Our bodies need to wind down after dinner, not get wired! Most people don’t drink caffeine after dinner if they want to be able to get some good sleep, and the same goes for sugar. In fact, studies have shown that serving breakfast foods for dinner can actually help your child sleep better. Suggested foods include oatmeal with milk, toast and peanut butter, yogurt, cheese, bananas, poultry, and eggs.
Limit the use of screens before bedtime
Like sugar, screens do not promote restful sleep. When your kids watch TV right before bed or play a game on the iPad, they are intaking light and movement from the screen, which actually wakes their brain up instead of calming it down.
It’s tempting to rely on screens to keep our kids from bouncing off the walls at the end of the day. But you might try to help your kids burn off that extra energy instead. If you need an activity to fill the awkward time slot between naptime and dinner, go on a walk together or let your kids play outside. Playing outdoors is a great alternative to screens, but it’s especially helpful at the end of the day, when your child is bored with their toys and weary of being creative.
Establish a bedtime routine
Does your family have a bedtime routine? Establishing a basic order of events that end with bedtime is a great way to prevent bedtime tantrums, help your child fall asleep more quickly, and promote a more restful night’s sleep. A bedtime routine doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. Your child’s routine could look something like this:
- Clean up toys
- Get PJ’s on
- Brush teeth
- Read book
- Lights out.
Children’s bodies and minds thrive off of routine. So if your kids know what to expect each night, their bodies will naturally be more inclined to fall asleep when they finally get in bed.
Create ideal sleeping conditions
Did you know that your child is able to sleep better in a cool, dark room? The ideal sleeping environment for a child is boring and quiet. Make their room as calm and as restful as possible, and your child will not only have an easier time falling asleep but they’ll sleep more deeply too.