When your kids can't sleep, you can't sleep as well. Bedtimes can become a serious battle if you don’t establish a regular sleep routine for your kids. Here are seven proven tips to get your kids to sleep at night:
1. Set an Appropriate Sleep Time for Your Kids
While sleep needs and patterns vary individually, school-age children need up to 11 hours of sleep every night. For most kids, regardless of what they do, their napping pattern won't change.
A night-owl will only fall asleep when his body is ready, and an early riser will still wake up early despite sleeping late. The best solution is to know the amount of sleep your children need to get refreshed and set the right time for each of them as sleeping also affects creativity of your kids.
2. Maintain A Bedtime Routine
Preschoolers, toddlers and infants need routines. For example, when you start telling stories, they know the next thing that's going to happen is sleep. Since they know what's next, you should set the perfect bedtime atmosphere. Hence, once the routine starts, their body starts attuning to sleep.
3. No TV For At Least Three Hours Before Bedtime
It is a proven fact that the production of melatonin (a hormone responsible for sleep and wake times) can be disrupted by light from a computer monitor, a phone or a television screen. Your kids will only be sleepy and ready for bed when their melatonin levels are at the highest.
4. Keep Their Room Relatively Quiet
Ensure that their room is relatively quiet, has some darkening shades and soft sheets. Besides, always use the right mattress for your kids, and if you discover that they keep turning and tossing on their mattress, it might be a sign that you need to replace it for them. Mattresses from Sit 'n Sleep are good and I recommend it.
5. Keep the Room Cool
Your kids' sleep cycle is sensitive to temperature. You should help them to regulate the temperature of the room. Melatonin will help them to maintain the internal body temperature they need to sleep. Promote deep sleep by keeping the room cool. Do not set the heat too high or bundle up your kids too much.
6. Address Your Kids' Fears
Do not dismiss their bedtime fears, find solutions for them. You can buy a special toy similar to a night guard or spray the room before bed with a "giant spray" (pro tip: you can just change the label of an air freshener). Another option is to reassure them that they're safe when they sleep.
7. Caffeine Should Not Be Allowed
Make sure your children do not take any sugar-containing drinks at least three hours before their bedtime. Caffeine is not recommended for children because it is a stimulant. If your child needs any drink before bedtime, a warm glass of milk should be sufficient.
If you don’t use any of this information, packing them away in your noggin won’t do you any good. And that’s why I suggest you take action – starting right now – by setting a daily wake up time.