Why Sleep is Important for Kids?
When children don’t get enough sleep, they have a harder time controlling their emotions. They may often be super energetic or emotionally sensitive. Kids, who are always sleep-deprived, are more likely to have behaviour problems, have trouble paying attention and learning, and may have some problems gaining or losing weight.
I speak to many parents who have interrupted sleep because their child wakes during the night. I know how challenging it is, but don’t worry I have listed here ways to help you create the best bedtime for your kids.
Tips to create the best bedtime for your kids:
- Make Bedtime a Routine.
Creating a set time for children to go to bed is important to their circadian rhythm. Setting a specific time each night for sleep lets their young bodies get into a rhythm (a circadian rhythm) that helps to initiate the sleep process.
- Maintain balanced dinners.
Enjoy dinner about 2 hours before bedtime to ensure that have digested their meal and their little digestive systems are satisfied. Ensure that the meal contains vegetables and protein, this helps keep the blood sugar levels stable during the night.
Avoid high sugary foods such as sweet desserts and lollies before bed, this can hype them up and create a blood sugar rollercoaster potentially triggering them to wake in the early hours of the morning.
- Keep the lights dim in the house in the hour before their bedtime.
If you want good sleeping patterns for your kids, promote a good bedtime environment for them. Bright lights stop the production of the sleep hormone called melatonin. In darker environments, this sleep hormone is produced. Some children prefer to have a little light rather than pitch black when they are sleeping, you can use a dim night light in their room for comfort.
- Avoid emotionally charged conversations before bed.
Conversations that are too emotionally connected such as an argument can linger in their minds while they sleep. Keep conversations light and happy.
- Use Relaxing baths before bed.
In the lead up to their bedtime give them a bath. To better relaxation, add a cup of Epsom salts. A few drops of essential oils such as Lavender or Chamomile can also help trigger relaxation.
- Create a relaxing mood.
Read a book or play soft music before they sleep to help them relax. If they are young enough tell them a bedtime story using your imagination. Keep your tone low and your own mood quiet to help them copy and relax into sleep.
Create routines or rituals before bedtime to help your child see these as signs that bedtime is approaching.
Create a bedtime routine that suits you. If you need help a good example of a bedtime routine could be:
- Selecting Pyjamas
- Bath time with Epsom salts and essential oils
- Putting on Pyjamas
- Brushing teeth
- Storytelling time or play soft relaxing music in a dimly lit room.
Enjoy the routines with them and help them create beautiful dreams.
Have a fabulous Sleep!!