Sleep is important. Now, that is a statement every parent can attest to. While adults can typically function off of a few hours of sleep with the help of a few cups of coffee, children need much more than that. A child needs not only a larger quantity of sleeping hours, they also need those hours to be high quality sleeping hours. Research shows time and time again that adequate sleep can help children fight obesity, illness, and can also help kids perform better in school. Check out these five sleeping tips to help your child get better ZZZ’s.
- Polish up your bedtime routine. A consistent, relaxing nighttime routine can actually help promote better sleep patterns. A routine may include bath, pajamas, bedtime stories for kids, songs, and cuddles before lights out.
- Get active each day. Research shows that for every hour of inactivity it adds three minutes to the time it takes a child to fall asleep. So, the more active children are, the easier it will be for them to fall, and stay asleep! Your kids can get moving at your local The Little Gym, local park, or in your very own backyard.
- Limit screen time before bed (parents, this means you too). The bright light that screens give off can actually interfere with melatonin, the hormone that is responsible for sleep and wake cycles. This means it may take longer to fall asleep, harder to stay asleep, and the quality of sleep can be poor. To ensure screens aren’t interfering with your child’s melatonin levels, avoid screen time before bedtime. Set a good example for your kids and leave the devices alone for the evening.
- Limit caffeine. Children naturally have a lot of energy… adding in caffeine increases that energy which can make it really difficult for them to settle down for bedtime. If your child does consume caffeine (it will happen at some time or another) try to ensure they’re done with their intake by the end of lunch.
- Establish a calming environment. Bedtime can be stressful, but stress will only interfere with your child having a restful nights’ sleep. There are many different ways a parent can help create a calming environment including the use of a sound machine, incorporating meditation or yoga at bedtime, and even setting the house to a comfortable temperature.
Having a positive relationship with sleep can do wonders for your child both now and in the future! To learn more about The Little Gym and to find a location near you visit us here.