#1: Setting A Bedtime Routine
The use of a regular bedtime routine around the same time every night can encourage positive sleep patterns. For instance, a bath, story and bed can increase a young child’s readiness for sleep. Older children could include a chat with you about their day, then some time alone before turning out the lights.
#2: Relaxing Before Bedtime
It is highly recommended that you urge your children to relax before bedtime. If the child takes longer than one-half hour to fall asleep, he or she might require a longer wind-down period before the lights are turned out.
#3: Maintaining Regular Wake And Sleep Times
It is advised that you keep the child’s bed and wake up times within one or two hours each day. This assists the child’s natural body clock to adhere to a regular sleeping pattern. This is most beneficial over weekends and vacation, but also for school days.
#4: Keeping The Older Children’s Naps Short And Early
The majority of children cease napping once they turn three or four years of age. If a child over the age of five years continues to nap during the day, it is recommended that the nap is no longer than 20 minutes.
The nap should also occur during early afternoon among older children. Evidence has found that longer naps later in the day can make it difficult for children to fall asleep.
#5: Ensuring The Child Feels Safe At Night
If the child has a fear of the dark, you can praise or reward them when they are “being brave” and facing the dark. Avoid any scary films, television shows or computer games during the evening. A nightlight can also be used to help alleviate any fears of the dark or going to bed.
#6: Checking Noise, Lights and Comfort In The Child’s Room
Dimly lit, quiet areas are significant for good sleep patterns. If the child’s bedroom is too noisy or light for suitable sleep, it may be best to change the setting.
Blue light from computer screens, televisions, tablets and mobile phones can suppress melatonin levels resulting in delayed sleep.
It is recommended that you turn these items off a minimum of one hour before children head to bed, as well as keeping screens out of the bedroom. Check the child’s mattress, if it has seen better days invest in a new Denver mattress.
#7: Avoiding The Clock
If your child checks the time regularly, it may be beneficial to move the clock or watch to a location where he or she cannot see it.
#8: Eating The Correct Amount At The Correct Time
Eating can play a large role in sleep patterns, and it is advised that the child has a satisfying meal at a reasonable time each evening. Being too full or too hungry can result in the child feeling uncomfortable and alert; thus, making it more difficult to fall asleep. A healthy breakfast can “kick-start” the child’s internal clock at the correct time.
#9: Encouraging National Light During The Day
To improve the child’s sleep patterns, it is recommended that the child gains as much natural light during the day (particularly in the morning). Bright light can suppress melatonin in the body, which helps the child feel alert during the day and sleepy at night.
#10: Avoiding Caffeine
Caffeine is found in most energy drinks, tea, coffee, cola and chocolate. Try to avoid giving these items to your child during the late afternoon and evening.