Having a good night’s rest is essential for every child – though they might disagree. We often find it challenging to get our children to sleep sufficiently and soundly. And bedtime is an unwelcome struggle at the end of a long day. The unending requests for another story, another cup of water or milk are just part of their strategies to keep bedtime at bay. Keeping them asleep is another matter altogether with night terrors, bed-wetting and “monsters” under the bed. However, it is critical that sleep is important as part of any routine.
Did you know that children between 5 to 13 should get at least ten hours of quality sleep every night? This optimises rest that supports rapid mental and physical development. Insufficient sleep can lead to grumpy children with poor attention spans. How then should we help our children get a good night’s sleep? Here are five tips from our sleep experts!
1) Happy bellies before bedtime – Don’t let your child be too hungry or too full before bedtime
Sending your child straight to bed without a meal may not be such a good idea. A hungry child may find it hard to fall asleep. Conversely, overeating can cause tummies to bloat and the child may feel uncomfortable. Hence, dinner in the right portions should be served. Remember not to serve liquids of any sort right before bedtime as that increases the chance of disruptive toilet visits in the middle of the night!
2) Set a routine – bedtime stories, brushing teeth, sleep schedule
A bedtime routine is important to signal to the child it is bedtime. This reduces the power struggles and establishes a predictable routine for all. To help parents stick to routines, Tittle for Parents has controls in place to render the child’s device “inaccessible”. For instance at 8pm, the disabled mobile devices remind everyone it’s bedtime. The children may change into their pyjamas, brush their teeth and get ready for their usual bedtime storybooks. No more teary nights mean parents can enjoy the rest of their evenings with children in bed!
3) Fix a sleep & wake time – communicated beforehand and routinised
A consistent sleep-wake schedule should be fixed. This helps keep the child’s body clock in check. With the schedule function, parents can determine the time to “shut down” the device (bedtime) and the time to “wake up” (waketime) the next morning. Tittle’s “schedule” function aids parents in setting consistent bedtime hours and urges the child to lay down the device. Less nagging from you and less long-winded work by the device!
4) Ensure a conducive sleep environment
The bedroom should be a comfortable place to rest in – the right temperature, quiet and relatively dark. When the child feels safe, he/she will fall asleep quite easily. Also, it would be helpful to have a night light and favourite soft toys for comfort. The transition from a busy day to a calm place would definitely help the child to want to go to bed.
5) Ban devices in bed
Any kind of device should be banned in bed. As the blue light emitted from mobile devices can disrupt sleep patterns and even cause retina damage, screen time should be prohibited during bedtime. Rules should be established to keep devices off-limits in the bedroom and naturalised as a habit. All devices could be put on the living room table after a certain time. This would prevent children (and adults) from sneaking their phones into beds and ensure a more restful sleep for everyone. When bedtime schedules are in place, parents can be assured that apps are disabled and the devices are resting, just like the kids.
Getting a good night’s sleep
Five quick tips to get your children well-rested and alert, and allows you and your partner to have a relaxing evening. Having a peaceful bedtime routine for children helps their little minds calm down after a stimulating day. It can also create opportunities for family bonding. What other tips would you like to share? Leave a comment below!