Getting kids to sleep at night can often be frustrating. You might think that sleep is something that should come naturally. Not for kids! They need to learn and cultivate sleeping habits. Good sleep requires planning. From nightly rituals to healthy eating habits, here are five simple tips to create a ‘sleep hygiene’ for your little ones:
Bedtime routine: Children need cues to understand it is time for them to go to sleep. They don’t work by the clock but by patterns. So telling them that it’s 10’0 clock at night and they better get to bed won’t help. Best is to create a daily rhythm where they understand their sleep time. Help them shift into sleep mode by reading together at a certain time, singing the same lullaby, or turning on a music box each night to create a pattern.
Turn off the idiot box: Don’t let your kids stare at the TV screen for too long just before making them sleep. Its bright light can be very distracting. Instead, encourage your kids to read a story before bedtime or if possible, dim the lights after dinner to ease them to sleep.
Avoid late-night snacks: Eating heavy food before bed affects the ability to stay asleep. Keep the kitchen off-limits after dinner – not only for your kids but for yourself too, so that you’re setting a positive example.
Tackle the nightmares: Fear of big monsters lurking in the dark may make it difficult for your child to fall asleep. Instead of shirking it off, help ease your child’s anxiety by distracting her with a story or a song. Sharing helpful books about nightmares also make a peaceful sleep more likely.
Keep her active: If your kid is not moving enough during the day, she won’t be tired at bedtime. Make sure your children get enough time to play every evening and are active both during and after school.
Do you have any tips for helping kids to fall asleep? Share your ideas in the comments below!