Most parents know that getting a good night's sleep is important. But what many parents don't realize is just how vital quality sleep is for their children. In fact, research shows that poor sleep can have a negative impact on everything from academics to behavior. So how can parents make sure their kids are getting the best possible sleep?
Here are a few tips to get started:
1. Establish a bedtime routine and stick to it as much as possible.
2. Create an environment that promotes sleep.
3. Limit caffeine and sugar in the evening hours (try tea instead!)
Establish a bedtime routine:
One of the most important things parents can do to ensure their children get quality sleep is to establish a bedtime routine and stick to it as much as possible. The body loves patterns and routines, and bedtime is no exception. A consistent bedtime routine can help signal to the body that it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep.
Some ideas for a bedtime routine include:
- reading a book together
- taking a bath or shower
- writing in a journal
- spending time talking about the day
Create an environment that promotes sleep:
Another important tip for promoting quality sleep in children is to create an environment that promotes sleep. The bedroom should be dark, cool, and quiet. Consider using a white noise machine to help your child fall asleep and stay asleep. White noise can mask loud noises can disturb your child--that's why it's usually recommended for people that struggle with falling asleep.
Another to consider is the wakefulness of your child. Before going to bed, turn off all electronics for at least 30 minutes before since they emit blue light. Blue light is the same kind of light that comes from the sun that tells your body to "stay awake." It might make it more difficult for your child to fall asleep since he or she will feel more awake and attentive.
Limit caffeine and sugar:
Both caffeine and sugar can have disruptive effects on sleep. Caffeine stimulates your brain so that it's hard to fall asleep PLUS it also lowers the quality of sleep that your child can manage to squeeze in. Sugar, on the other hand can increase blood sugar levels and lead to poorer sleep quality and disrupted sleep. So try to limit your child's intake of these substances in the hours leading up to bedtime.
Instead, try a cup of tea (plus you may sweeten it with stevia or monk fruit to entice your child to drink it). A study showed that people who drink this before bed were able to fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly than those who took nothing at all!
Quality sleep is essential for children and the best way to ensure your kids are getting the best possible sleep is by being a good role model by following these tips. You can also have conversations with them beforehand to help them understand why they need to get their Zzzs!
What do you think of these tips?
Let us know by replying with what strategies work well for ensuring your children get quality - not quantity- of sleep every single night!