Sticking to a consistent and early bedtime can be a continuous struggle. With pleads such as “10 more minutes” or “one last episode,” or with work schedules getting in the way, bedtimes are often hard to keep.
However, early and stable bedtimes are the key to a good night’s sleep, which plays a huge role in developing and maintaining a healthy body and mind. Here are a few ways to help you achieve succesful bedtimes for your children starting tonight!
- Stay Consistent!
Stand your ground. If you reinforce the same bedtime every day, your child will eventually begin to become tired at their designated bedtime. This will help them settle into their bedtime routine naturally. While it is tempting to assign different bed times for weekends or over the summer, sticking to the same time will make bedtime easier. So don’t give into letting them have that extra half hour on Saturday’s! If you’re unsure of what the right bedtime is for your child’s age, here is a quick chart to help you out.
- Power Down Electronics
Having your kids watch TV right before bedtime is not a good idea. Electronic screens stimulate kids eyes and tricks their body into thinking it’s still daytime, which makes them less sleepy. Instead, seek out calming activities to do before bedtime. Doing puzzles, reading, or drawing are all great options! Additionally, try not to keep any electronic’s in your kids room as these may be tempting or distracting when they are trying to sleep.
- Active During The Day = Sleepy At Night
Make sure your kids are getting enough physical activity during the day! Not only is this beneficial and vital for their health, but it will also ensure that they are naturally more fatigued at night resulting in less of a battle when it’s time to go to bed. Whether it’s taking the dog for a walk, going to the park, riding their bicycles, or playing a game of soccer, it’s easy for you to join your kids in their daily activities as well.
- Be Mindful of Nap Times
Naps are awesome; I think most adults can agree. Naps are also necessary for toddlers, but they should be taken mindfully. Too many naps, or naps too close to bedtime will keep your child awake at night. Aim for 1 or 2 hour naps taken at least 5 hours before bedtime.
As you have read, bedtime doesn’t have to be a battle! If you follow these simple steps and begin incorporating them into your every day life, you will notice a significant change in your children’s sleep patterns.