Parenting pointers: How to get your kids to get more sleep

BRIKA's best kids parenting parenting pointers sleep

Sleep is the type of virtue that you tend to not appreciate with as much veracity as when you have kids—if there was a study on the increase between your age and how much you value a good night’s sleep, we’re guessing the correlation would be pretty strong. If your kids are the type who refuse sleep with a tenacity that reaches almost admirable levels, the good news is that there are a few straightforward tricks towards having a happier and more rested household in the twinkling of a (hopefully rested) eye. We’ve rounded them up for you below. 1. Turn their bedroom into a distraction-free, tranquil place. Keeping dim lights and before-bed activities quiet will reduce cortisol levels (stress hormones) in your child’s system. Remove toys from their room so they are free from distraction, and implement soft sheets and room-darkening curtains to make it easier for them to fall asleep. 2. Introduce a bedtime routine. WebMD recommends the four B’s: bath, brushing teeth, books and bed. Routines are important because they signal to your child what’s coming next. Once they get in the habit of engaging in a regimen before bed, they will start to feel sleepy and take comfort in a predictable pre-bed program. Experts posit that the routine should take place between one hour and 30 minutes before bed. [caption id="attachment_6148" align="alignright" width="313"]quietmind-lotuswei-blog-image Quiet Mind Energy Mist[/caption] 3. Avoid screen time. Research has shown that the blue-tinged light that’s emitted from TV and computer screens can interfere with the production of melatonin, which regulates your sleep cycle. Restrict screen time beginning an hour before bedtime so your little one is sleepy when it comes time to go to bed. 4. Be strict with your rules. To avoid your child begging you for “just 10 more minutes!” of time before bed, it’s important to stringent about bedtime and follow through with your word. Once they know there’s no leniency, they’ll put up less of a fight when it comes to turning off the light and closing their bedroom door. 5. Advance your child’s bedtime based on their sleep patterns. School-age children need between 9-12 hours of sleep a night, but there’s a huge discrepancy in sleep patterns that varies by individual—some are born early risers, while others will be night owls their whole lives. If your child is showing signs of fatigue, try to gauge how much your they need to wake up refreshed. Set their bedtime earlier by 30 minutes for a few days at a time until you see a noticeable difference. 6. Keep their bedroom cool. [caption id="attachment_6149" align="alignleft" width="302"]shewillmovemountainspillow-blog-image Let Her Sleep Pillow[/caption] Sleep onset is facilitated by a decrease in body temperature, which is then regulated by melatonin levels, but you can help regulate the external temperature, which will help advance sleepiness. Try keeping a window open and don’t bundle your child in too many blankets to promote a deeper sleep. 7. Cut down on late nights. Extracurricular activities and homework time are both important, but ensure that your child’s schedule isn’t so tightly packed that they have to push their bedtime later and later, which may throw off their sleep habits. 8. Keep weekend sleep-ins to a minimum. A consistent sleep schedule with limited sleep variations is equally as important on the weekends as on the weekdays to start Monday refreshed and ready for the week. Extra hours of sleep in the morning will throw off our internal clocks, so avoid this as much as possible. Sweet dreams!   Top photo: Handmade lasercut Safari nightlight, $55

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