Sleep hygiene for kids: our 3 top tips
There’s no denying it—kids need sleep. It helps their bodies and minds grow. Quality sleep makes children happier, healthier, and more energetic—and it gives parents a well-deserved break, too!
You may have heard about sleep hygiene. But what exactly does this term mean?
In short, sleep hygiene involves patterns and behaviours you partake in before going to sleep. Common sleeping issues, like insomnia and sleep apnoea, usually appear after years of poor sleep hygiene.
By encouraging good sleep habits from a young age, your kids will grow into healthy, happy, and prosperous adults. Here are our three top tips for helping your kids improve their sleep hygiene.
1. Create the ideal sleeping environment
Your child should feel safe and secure in their sleeping environment. At the same time, a bedroom should be, first and foremost, a room for a bed! Your child may enjoy sleeping with stuffed toys or playing in their bedroom, but keep distracting toys such as electronics and gadgets in a separate space.
To help your child feel safe when sleeping, consider their wants and needs. Some children may prefer to sleep with a nightlight, while others may prefer total darkness. Calming music may also help your child relax and drift off comfortably.
Photo by kevin liang on Unsplash
2. Establish a bedtime routine
Routine is key! Encourage your child to start getting ready for bed around the same time each night, and let them choose their favourite sleepytime activities. Whether it’s a warm bath or a good book—once they’ve wound down, sleep will come easier than ever.
It won’t be long before your child’s mind and body adjust to their new pattern. Once they pick up that book or slink into that bath, it’ll send a signal to their brain that sleep is coming soon. (P.S.—this idea works wonders for parents, too!)
3. Put technology to bed!
Here’s a great tip—all technology, like tablets, smartphones, or video games, should have a bedtime of their own! Let’s say your son or daughter’s bedtime is 8 PM. Why not set a bedtime of 6 PM for all technology?
At 6 PM, all gadgets should “go to bed” in their special place—whether that’s in a box, drawer, or tucked away in a living room caddy.
Electronic devices emit a harsh, blue light that interferes with the brain’s natural sleep hormones. By saying goodnight to technology a few hours before bed, your child will enjoy a wholesome, refreshing snooze.