Although setting a bedtime routine for children can be hard and exhausting at times, it is 100% worth trying it out and sticking to it. Children who have regular bedtime routines are seen falling asleep more easily, staying asleep throughout the night and waking up more refreshed.
There are many benefits to establishing a bedtime routine for your children. These benefits range from building your relationship and trust with your child to them having more energy and less behavioural problems. We all know that this is most likely the most difficult time of the day for parents as most kids don’t want to go to bed. Bad habits become adopted when parents run their patients thin and children throw screaming tantrums for the IPad or wanting one more minute of whichever activity they are partaking in. But, learning and understanding the various benefits children will adopt by pushing through this horrific time to establish a bedtime routine is well worth it.
Find the right bedtime for your child’s age. As a guideline, children between the ages of 6 and 13 yrs roughly need around 10-13 hours of sleep. Set up a bedtime that’s roughly 2-2.5 hours after dinner time, then set up your wake up time from 10-13hrs from that period of time. Sticking to a schedule helps the body’s circadian rhythm produce sleep hormones at the proper time each day, helping children fall asleep easier. Having a routine also provides healthy sleep habits for the future.
Taking electronics away is very beneficial to the quality of sleep your child will get. Using electronics before bed stimulates the brain, making it much harder for them to fall asleep and could also contribute to “bad dreams”. Research shows that the blue light from electronics, when used before bed, can have negative effects on the sleep producing hormone melatonin.
Nighttime routines are important in calming the body and mind of your child before bed. It also contributes to strengthening the relationship between parent and child. The nighttime routine you create can be short and be something along the lines like brushing teeth, putting on PJs, reading a book, tucking in and a kiss good night. The routine does not have to be long but it should be something your child looks forward to and helps to calm them down before going to sleep.
Being consistent with your bedtime routine increases the benefits tremendously. Not only will your child fall asleep faster, have a better quality of sleep and wake up more energized but you will be able to have a nice evening to yourself once they’re off to dreamland.
If your child is having problems getting to sleep and staying asleep, they may benefit from the use of a weighted blanket. These holistic sleep aids are a great way to induce a relaxing and secure feeling before bed. Check out these links to learn more about weighted blankets, or other techniques to fall asleep faster.