Getting the kids to sleep more often than not is a big task to undertake, you’re likely going to encounter resistance whether it’s a 3 year old who doesn’t want to sleep or a 15 year old who keeps saying he’ll go to bed when they finish their game (Hint: teenagers will rarely go to bed after that one more game). So what can you do to get your child to actually go to bed when you want them too whether they’re a toddler or a teen?
Well, I’m glad you asked as today I’ll walk you through some simple changes you can make to help get your children to go to sleep.
1. Try Keep the Bedroom For Bed
Admittedly, this tip is a lot easier with younger kids than teenagers, but the logic should work for both. The trick is to keep their bedroom for sleeping, other activities like watching TV, playing games or even just relaxing should be done in rooms meant for them such as the living room or a play room.
This is because our brains match up rooms of the house with activities associated with the room, so if a bedroom is just used for sleeping, your child’s brain will recognize that and begin to prepare itself for sleep when they enter. So when it’s time for bed, their body should be ready to sleep when they go to their bedrooms.
2. Have An Electronics Curfew
If they could, children would stay up watching TV or playing on an iPad until they need to go to sleep and whilst for stressed parents this may seem like an easy opt out, it just makes it harder for your kids to actually get to sleep. Studies have shown that blue light emitted from electronic devices such as TVs, Phones and computers disrupts the natural process of preparing to sleep, so whilst your child may be occupied in the run up to bed, their body won’t be ready to sleep if they’ve just had an eye-full of blue light.
To avoid blue light keeping your child up, it’s recommended that you have a ‘curfew’ on the use of electronic devices from around 1-2 hours before you’d like your child to go to bed. This will give their body time to settle down ready for sleep.
3. Make Their Room As Dark As Possible
This is a simple one, the human body prefers to sleep in a dark space, so if your child is having trouble sleeping, you should look into a set of blackout blinds, these will help block out light and noise pollution from the outside world thus creating a more suitable environment for your child to sleep in.
Because of the darkness their brain will twig that it is time to sleep and begin the process of going to sleep. To make this even more effective, you’ll want to gradually reduce the light that they’re exposed to before bedtime, just dim the lights a bit every half hour or so to emulate the sun setting, so that the body recognizes that sleep time is coming.
4. Cool Down Before Bed
Part of the process of falling asleep involves the body’s temperature being lowered, this is part of the reason why it’s so hard to fall asleep during hot summer nights and why you’ll feel sleepy after a nice warm shower, as your body’s temperature begins to drop, your body begins to think that it’s time to sleep.
To cool your kids down before bed, you have a few options, one of the more simple ones just involves them having a warm bath before preparing for bed, the bath will warm them up and when they exit their body temperature will slowly drop, beginning the sleep process of your body, alternatively if your child has already had a wash, you can just turn on a fan in their room to cool it a bit before bedtime.