Updated: Nov 29, 2022
Help Your Child Beat The Bedtime Blues
Children are continually growing and learning new skills. Coordination, motor skills, and socio-behavioral skills are essential for your child’s development. A good night’s sleep will help your little one progress and master these skills faster. Each night, children require 10-12 hours of sleep. But sometimes, children may have difficulty falling asleep. Beat the bedtime blues with these helpful tips:
Limit device usage close to bedtime
The blue light emitted from electronic screens can trick the brain into thinking it is daytime. Blue light prevents the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, which is usually produced after the sun goes down.
Limit device usage two to three hours before your child’s bedtime — substitute screens with a book or puzzle.
Design a ‘sleep paradise’
Your child’s sleep environment will influence their sleep greatly. Create a sleep-inducing environment in which your child feels comfortable and eliminate any distractions.
Keep lighting to a minimum and block out any harsh lights. During daytime naps, keeping the light out can be more of an issue. Blackout curtains and sunlight control blinds can effectively keep light out. Noise should also be kept to a minimum when your little one is sleeping.
Keep an active lifestyle
Physical activity during the day can help tire out your kids. Kids need to exert their energy; otherwise, they become restless. Encourage physical activity and an active lifestyle. Come up with creative ways to join in with your child. Whether it be walking along the beach, kicking a ball around, or even a stroll to the letterbox.
Have a bedtime routine
Children find comfort in a routine. The familiar processes allow kids to become accustomed to bedtime and help them wind down before they sleep.
A bedtime routine could begin with a shower. Including something that your child finds enjoyable like storytime will give them something to look forward to.
Make a glass of warm milk
It may be an old folktale, but having a glass of warm milk before bedtime will help you fall asleep. Milk contains the amino acid, tryptophan. This produces serotonin in the brain, a precursor for melatonin which helps to regulate the sleep-wake cycle.
Use soothing scents
Aromatherapy has been practiced for thousands of years. Soothing scents may help you fall asleep faster and sleep better. Amongst these scents include lavender, but also the star of Bethlehem, cherry plum, and clematis.
Calm your mind before bedtime with a scented candle, essential oil, cream, or sleep drop. Over time, the brain will associate the scent with bedtime, rest, and relaxation.
Getting rid of the bedtime blues will significantly benefit your child’s development. Increased ability to focus will allow children to master skills faster during the daytime. Better quality sleep will give their minds time to assimilate skills while they sleep. Not to mention, you’ll have more quality time for yourself so that you can get on with your busy lifestyle as a parent.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Harper Reid is a creative writer living in Auckland, New Zealand. She especially enjoys writing articles about home, family, travel, and lifestyle. Check out more of her work on Tumblr.