As a parent of one or more little ones, you probably know all too well the power of a good night’s sleep (and how hard the next day is when you don’t get a restful night of sleep!). However, promoting healthy sleep schedules with your young children is often a marathon, not a sprint. Creating sleep habits take time, but here are a few ideas for sleepytime success with little ones:
Limit Screen Time
Research shows us that too much screen time can make it difficult to fall asleep at night, especially for younger children. Phones, tablets, and TVs emit blue light that can keep children awake much longer than normal, so it can be helpful to establish a 30 minute to 1 hour period before bedtime that’s screen-free to promote healthier sleep.
Getting a good night’s sleep is so much easier when our bodies are trained to feel tired at certain times of the day. Creating a consistent and age-appropriate bedtime, and sticking with it (even on weekends), can help your child fall into a healthy routine of falling asleep on time.
Follow a Bedtime Routine
Equally as important as setting a consistent bedtime is creating a predictable bedtime routine that your child can rely on. A traditional bedtime routine might include changing into pajamas, brushing teeth, turning out lights, or reading a bedtime story. Following this routine daily can help promote consistent sleep schedules with children.
Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Often, children struggle to fall asleep if they are restless or have built-up energy they haven’t been able to release yet. Promoting play, games, and other activities throughout the day helps to ensure children begin to feel tired at appropriate times and are much more likely to both fall asleep and sleep through the night. Additionally, avoiding caffeinated or sugary foods late in the afternoon or evening can help make sure your child isn’t too hyper right before bedtime.
Getting a full night’s sleep sets your child up to be happier, more energetic, and more social throughout the day. Every child is different with unique sleep needs, so it’s important to be patient as you work through any sleep struggles your family may be experiencing! If your child struggles with falling asleep, or often wakes up in the middle of the night, try these strategies for promoting more consistent sleep patterns that refresh rather than drain your child.
Heaven’s Elect Christian Learning Center is a Non-denominational Christian childcare center fully licensed by the state of Michigan. Our Midland childcare center has been serving the community since 2000. Please contact us at heavenselect.com.