We all know how frustrating a restless night can be as an adult, but parents know it’s even harder when your kid can’t get to sleep! Sleeplessness and poor sleep quality can impact a child’s learning and moods during the day, so it’s very important that your family’s bedtime routines set your kids up for a restful night’s sleep. Here are some suggestions on how to structure your kids’ bedtime activities for the best sleep possible.
Have a set bedtime – even on the weekends
For kids of all ages, keeping a regular bedtime is shown to give better sleep overall than a bedtime that is constantly shifting around at night. For very young children, going to bed as early as 7pm is ideal, even though it may feel odd to lay them down when the sun is still up. As kids grow into teenagers, their bedtime can get later in the evening, but consistency is key!
Bathtime with soothing scents
A bath in the evening before bed is a luxury for most grown-ups, but it can be a necessity for kids who are restless at night. You can use soaps and bubbles with lavender scent to calm their energy down and get ready for rest. Once they’re clean, relaxed,and changed into comfy pajamas, a good night’s sleep is right around the corner!
Storytime with kids of all ages
A common cherished childhood memory is storytime with mom and dad reading a book with us. Make memories with your own kids, and give them restful sleep, by making storytime a regular event in your house. Start with simple stories and picture books with younger kids. As they grow up, expand your storytime library with longer reads. You can read a chapter or two together every night, and even switch off who reads to whom! Reading a story together also gets your kids minds off of the worries of their day, and gives them plenty of fantastical dreams to focus on.
Soothe fears with security items
As it gets dark in the house, children can often become frightened of shadows that may hide imaginary monsters. If their fears are keeping them up at night, find security items that make them feel empowered to face the “monsters.” Whatever object they choose, tell them that it is a special tool that scares off the monsters. It could be a special blanket with “magical” powers, or a teddy bear that “guards” their bed. A small night light in the room can help them see better without disrupting their sleep, too.
Sleep Hygiene for Kids
Just like grown-ups trying to get their rest, kids should practice good “sleep hygiene” in their routines and in their sleeping space. Keep their bed and bedroom free of distractions like computers and phones, make sure they get physical activity during the day, and avoid sugary foods and drinks before bed.
Every family’s routine is different, but these methods to get hyper kids to sleep can help regardless of what your schedule is like. Just stay consistent with how you approach bedtime and it will pay off with well-rested kids that are better able to learn and spend time with family!