Your kids hate waking up in the morning? They don’t feel refreshed and energized at all? Happily, we’re here to say that there are many things to help children sleep better, wake up easier in the morning, and have more energy to last throughout the day. In this article, we’re going to find out how to get a better night’s rest.
As you sense the sun rising in the early morning sky, your eyes pop open. Filled with energy that only sweet sleep brings, you throw the covers back and drop your feet to the floor. Like a superhero, you pick up your robe and throw it over your shoulders. You’re ready to face the day!
Sounds too unrealistic? Yes, we know that’s a morning that exists only in fiction.
In reality, most of us groan as the alarm blares, and we struggle to slap the snooze button as quickly as possible. Bargaining with our subconscious, we decide we can squeeze in 10 more minutes before we drag ourselves to the kitchen, prepare the breakfast in a hurry and debate whether to pour a cup of coffee or drink it straight from the pot. Some of us decide that multivitamins for kids and food supplements will help to get through the day.
Instead, we should think how to improve quality of sleep and get more energy from rest.
5 Sleeping Tips For Kids And Their Parents
1. Be Consistent
Dr. Nathaniel Watson, president-elect of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine states, “Keeping a consistent sleep schedule is one of the best ways to ensure you’re getting quality, restful sleep.” If you know that you need more rest at night, the best way to go about changing your schedule is in 15-minute increments. More drastic adjustments can create a downward spiral of sleeplessness and exhaustion.
2. Create Downtime
How to get to sleep fast? Calm down before it. There are two types of activities you should be doing during this time: thoughtful preparation for the next day, and quiet, relaxing activities. Start doing quiet tasks in the late evening so you have an hour before your scheduled sleep time for a bedtime routine. While parents are preparing for the next day choosing your wardrobe, packing lunches, or creating a to-do list, kids can read a bedtime story or play relaxing games. During this calm hour, you’re clearing your mind and unwind faster when your head finally hits the pillow. Choosing a relaxing activity signals our body that it’s time to slow down and prepare for a night of rest.
3. Eat (or not) For Sleep
If you go to bed too full or too hungry, discomfort in the night may keep you awake. It’s no big surprise that drinking too much before bed can wake you up as well, creating a risk of not being able to fall back to sleep. What is the food for good sleep? A small snack high in protein can be helpful before bed (think almond butter on a whole wheat cracker). Likewise, a small, warm, decaffeinated beverage, like tea or warm milk, will help children sleep better.
4. Unplug For the Night
There are many reasons that complete darkness can help you get to sleep faster and sleep more soundly. Particularly disruptive to sleep though, are electronic devices. Both adults and teenagers addicted to checking social media before we go to sleep, and the risk is there to stay up later than we intended. Research has shown also that the blue light emitted by cell phones, chargers, tablets and the like is more disruptive to sleep than natural light. So keep them charging in another room, or unplug your devices completely and power them down at least an hour before hitting the hay.
Must read: 15 Fantastic Bedtime Stories
5. Create Comfortable Conditions
A quiet, cool room (at about 65 degrees) has been shown to be the best sleep environment. Make sure your kids don’t sleep at an uncomfortable mattress or scratchy sheets. Can’t afford a new mattress now? Look into a 1 or 2 inch foam mattress pad. These can be found online to greatly enhance your comfort, even on an older mattress.
In the pharmacy, there are a few natural sleep aid options you can try to help you rest better at night. Valerian, Chamomile, and Melatonin have been helpful for many. Before buying them for your kid, consult to your pediatrician to find out about proper dosage and drug interactions.
What do you do to help children sleep better? Leave your recommendations in comments.