Sometimes bedtime for kids can be quite challenging especially if they like to play around until it is time to sleep. If you can relate to the nightly struggle, we feel your pain! But bedtime doesn’t always have to be a headache.
Firstly, as parents, you know that sleep is incredibly important to your kids because it promotes optimal physical and mental health, recovery and healing.
But explaining this to a growing child who just wants another hour of playtime can fall on deaf ears. Children watch what their parents do and often copy their bad habits. That is why, as parents, you should also be actively trying to set a good example to your kids by adopting healthy sleep habits.
When we adopt healthy sleep habits, our quality of sleep also increases.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, here is how much your child should be sleeping according to their age group:
What are some steps that can lead to healthy sleep habits?
1. Make sure you have a sleep routine for the whole family
When you set a sleep routine for yourself, then it is only natural for your child to have one too. Establish regular timing for sleep and then participate in a relaxing routine before bedtime. You could play soothing music or read a book to your child to help calm them down before bed and even get them to look forward to going to sleep.
The pre-sleep routine should also include brushing their teeth, getting their favourite pyjamas on and getting tucked into bed, of course!
2. Avoid stimulating activities near bedtime
If your child is easily excitable and won’t be able to sleep if they are too worked up, then remove all stimulants from their pre-bedtime routine. Try to avoid vigorous exercises, going out too late, bright screens as well as high sugar drinks.
3. Create an ideal sleeping environment that your child will feel comfortable in
This is quite a simple step for all parents to take. Your child will look forward to bedtime if their bed is the most comfortable place for sleep for them. For example, if your child enjoys sleeping in total darkness, ensure the room is pitch black and quiet.
But if they prefer a little night light, then have that ready so that they are at ease to fall into slumber. Temperature also matters – the room should be cooling enough that they don’t feel hot, but not too cold either.
4. Your child’s bed should only be for sleeping
Play time, TV time and all other activities should be done outside of bed so that your child understands that their bed is only for sleep. Once they are led to bed, it is an unspoken rule that what comes next is rest and sleep.
5. Ensure your sleep routine remains consistent
It is tempting to stay up later on the weekends and during school holidays, but it is important to maintain your kid’s bedtime routine all the time. This means, you should continue encouraging your kids to go to bed and wake up at the same time daily.
For sticking to this sleep routine, even during the holidays, you can even choose to reward them with their favourite breakfast meals or take them out for a special excursion.
When you and your children get sufficient quality sleep, here’s what you can expect to happen:
- You will see a better mood all around – your family could have a better relationship with each other since everyone is well rested. Your child may also be happier overall!
- Your child will have improved concentration – when they get enough quality sleep, children are more alert and pay more attention to their surroundings. They will also become more efficient.
- Your child will have better memory – when your child is well-rested, their brains will be able to better consolidate recently-added information during sleep, promoting better memory.
- Your child will have an overall healthier mind and body – quality sleep will help your child’s body better regulate their immune systems, making them less susceptible to diseases and illnesses.
So with all that in mind, you and your family are on the way to a more restful sleep. Find out more about how you can get good sleep at goodsleep.sg.