Tucking in your child and wishing them sweet dreams should be a cherished time of day for parents, but sometimes kids like to boomerang out of bed prolonging – and frustrating – the process. Instead of a nightly struggle, set the stage for sleep by using your child’s five senses.
The most important thing in your child’s room is the mattress. Make sure your little angel has the right one by visiting PureSleep and talking to our experts. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), 90% of people say a comfortable mattress and pillows are important to the sleep experience.
Select soft linens and pajamas. Three-quarters of us claim that comfortable sheets and bedding are important to a good night’s rest. Since kids tend to kick off their covers at night, dress yours in pajamas made of breathable fabrics that keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
People who make their bed in the morning were 19% more likely to get a good night’s sleep every night, according to the NSF. It’s not clear why this is, but perhaps there is a connection between feeling good about where you sleep and your tendency to sleep through the night. Teach your child to make their bed when they get up in the morning.
A clean room is a calm room. Make sure your child’s is free from clutter. According to NSF, 62% of people say a clean bedroom helps improve their sleep experience.
Dim the lights during your child’s bedtime routine to prepare them for sleep. During the summer when it stays light later, take advantage of room darkening shades and curtains that can help block light from outdoors.
Limit screen time, which can activate your child’s brain. Also keep technology, such as televisions, computers and video games, out of your child’s room. Instead, arrange comfy pillows in a clutter-free, calming space.
An early bedtime is important for kids – between 7 and 8 p.m. works best for most, according to the NSF. Help your child wind down by creating a quiet atmosphere in your home a half hour before bedtime.
Playing soft music before bedtime will further set the stage for a calm transition into sleep. And consider taking advantage of white noise, which can block sounds from family members who are still awake. A fan or white noise machine will do the trick.
Think about what you offer your child to eat or drink before bed. Foods containing tryptophan – the amino acid that is a building block of the sleep-related chemical serotonin – could encourage drowsiness. Turkey is a well-known source, but so are eggs, chicken, fish, and nuts.
Another good bedtime snack is a light carbohydrate, such as whole wheat crackers with a small amount of peanut butter, or cereal with milk. But avoid fatty, fried or spicy foods before bedtime that will upset the stomach and can interfere with sleep.
Certain scents have a helpful effect on sleep. Lavender has been shown to decrease heart rate and blood pressure, potentially putting you in a more relaxed state. Give your child a bath with a few drops of lavender scented oil. Scented laundry detergent can also be helpful.