Even if your kids spend all day running around with their friends, many children are impossible to wear out and refuse to sleep or even go to bed when nighttime approaches. A 2007 study shows that 12% of children have sleep problems every night and that a massive 76% have occasional problems with sleep.
If you’re looking for ways to encourage better sleeping habits in your children so that they can live a happier and healthier life, then you’ve come to the right place! Read on for four tips that will help your excitable kids get a good night’s sleep.
We all know that exercise makes us tired, so this may seem like an obvious one, but it is essential. If your child claims they’re ‘not even tired’ when you’re trying to get them to sleep, encouraging them to do more exercise really is the key to healthier sleeping habits.
While adults often find the idea of exercise daunting, doing physical activity is usually great fun for kids. Making regular trips to the park for a game of soccer may become the highlight of your child’s day, and teaching them to ride a bike can be not only fun but a great bonding activity for you both!
If you have a busy schedule, encouraging your children to sign up for after-school activities like the football or track team is a great idea.
All kids need routine in their lives, but having a regular nighttime routine is also a part of sleep hygiene. Despite its name, sleep hygiene isn’t about regularly cleaning your bedding; it’s actually a set of practices that are known to improve sleep quality.
Your child’s routine might include having a bath, putting on pajamas, brushing teeth and getting into bed. You can also make it a habit to read a story to your restless child every night. If you don’t have the time to make this commitment, play an audiobook for them instead. Whatever you do, just try to make it consistent.
Having a relaxing sleep environment is also key to good sleep hygiene. For example, installing a dimmer light in your child’s bedroom will provide soft, dim lighting that is easier to sleep in. Most children will also prefer a quiet environment to sleep in, so if you have siblings sharing a room, you may want to reconsider this if they’re disturbing one another.
Having a comfy mattress and pillows also improves sleep hygiene. If your child’s mattress is uncomfortable, this could be preventing them from falling asleep. Luckily, the big Presidents Day mattress sale is coming up this month, so if you’re in need of a new mattress, you just need to keep an eye out for this year’s deals!
Less Stimulation Before Bed
If your child’s playtime ends five minutes before their bedtime, they’re bound to be too excited to even think about sleeping. While exercise is great for tiring kids out, this should also be avoided immediately before bed.
Screen time should also end at least an hour before bedtime, as the use of TVs, monitors, tablets, and smartphones can affect how easily we get to sleep. Because of this, it’s a good idea to keep your child’s bedroom a screen-free zone.
Getting your child to sleep at night can be a challenge, and implementing these ideas will likely present challenges of their own. However, if you stick to your new rules, you will soon be reaping the rewards of your child’s healthy sleeping habits. And, if you’re still having trouble getting these practices to stick, try implementing a reward system for your child so that they can feel the benefits too.