Encouraging your young ones to drift off to sleep can present a challenge.
Adequate sleep is crucial for maintaining optimal health, and struggling to fall asleep is not limited to adults alone. Children may also experience difficulties in getting the sufficient rest they need, and when they struggle to sleep... it affects your own sleep (and stress levels!) as well. By ensuring your little one gets a good night’s sleep will also help make sure you are getting the sleep you need too.
Bedtime can sometimes turn into a battleground when little ones resist settling down and falling asleep. However, there are strategies that can level the playing field and increase your chances of success. Consider implementing these top tips to effectively navigate the bedtime battle and emerge victorious!
#1. Set up a bedtime routine
Routine is especially important for all of us, and helps us manage day-to-day life. Children are no different, and putting in pace a consistent bedtime routine can really help set kids at ease, and get themselves ready for sleep.
Bedtime routines can consist of a number of things, such as a set bedtime. Setting up a routine can help bring together tasks that, when not structured in any way, can become a source of irritation or pushback. Setting up a bedtime routine early makes these things ‘normal’.
The bedtime routine can include bath time, brushing teeth, a bedtime story, and then bed. With a routine like this in place, your child's body is likely to naturally become sleepy at the same time each day, making bedtime stress-free and easy on both you and your little one.
#2. Limit screen time
Research has shown that blue light from televisions. computers or other devices (such as smartphones or tablets) can negatively impact sleep. Melatonin is a key player when it comes to creating a good sleep cycle, and as your body produces it it makes all of us - children and adults alike - ready for sleep. Blue light from electrical devices reduces the amount of the Melatonin hormone the body produces.
The best way to combat this is to make the bedroom a screen-free zone. Getting into this habit is a good way to ensure that your child will find falling asleep easier. Bedtime stories are a good way for your child to relax and feel rested, without their brain needing to engage with video games or other stimulating activities right before bed.
#3. Creating a comfortable sleep environment
One great way to help sleep is to ensure comfort. This can be done in a number of ways; an uncluttered space, black-out curtains, a cool room and comfortable bedding.
All of these elements are important for a restful night, but comfortable sheets and bedding is arguably the most important. Good quality bedding can not only help with sleep health, but with skin and physical health too. Some of the softest bedding is made from bamboo, which can help with allergies and skin complaints.
Hong Kong-based bedding company NakedLab makes high quality bamboo bedding for all ages. The concept came about because founder, Joyce Lau, couldn't find quality, organic bedding for her two-month old daughter, Pia, who was struggling with severe eczema. As we spend so much of our time in bed, it is important to ensure your child has bedding that is kind to sensitive skin, and hypoallergenic. Bamboo is a great option that covers these bases.
It can often be the case that implementing minor changes to bedtime can help kids relax, remove stress, and help them fall asleep quickly and easily. If you still encounter problems or resistance, you can be on the lookout for sleep disorders, and if concerned talk about it with your doctor or paediatrician. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer to getting a perfect night's sleep, but these tips should help make the whole process smoother.