Sleep is important and essential for us all but especially so for children. It is estimated that children should sleep for 50% of the day, as this time is key to the development of their behaviours, memory and social skills. A child who is sleep deprived may not develop to their full potential, therefore it’s imperative that children get the rest that they require.
The key to a good night’s sleep is preparation; if a child is alert before bedtime, they will struggle to get to sleep, so it’s important that children have time to wind down and relax for at least an hour before bed. With that in mind, children’s sleep experts Room to Grow outline five of the best ways to improve both the ambience of your child’s room, and their pre-sleep experience.
1. No Screen Zone
It will come as no surprise that ditching the devices is one of the main tips for winding down before bed. The blue light emitted from phones, tablets and TV’s interrupts the bodies melatonin production; stopping sleep in its tracks. It keeps the brain awake meaning it is harder to both get to sleep and stay asleep. Keeping a child’s room screen free is ideal as it means they won’t be distracted when it comes to bed time.
2. De Clutter
You may have heard the saying; ‘tidy room, tidy mind’ and the same goes for children. A messy or cluttered room is stress inducing which in turn reduces sleep quality and prevents children being able to wind down before bed. Because having ample storage is key in a child’s room. Think about investing in extra storage to encourage children to keep their room clean and tidy.
Aromatherapy is proven to help promote sleep. Certain scents such as lavender and vanilla are relaxing and calming. Using a child friendly diffuser to release these essentials oils throughout the room could help children wind down and relax before bed.
4. Keep it Dark, Quiet and Cool
Artificial light can keep you from your slumber as it tricks the body by mimicking daylight, but by keeping lights off at bedtime, this can be avoided. If your child requires a light at this time, warmer bulbs are best as they are less destructive to melatonin production. This is the reason why most night lights have warmer bulbs.
It might seem obvious that keeping the room quiet helps sleep, but it’s important to note that it’s not sound itself that prevents sleep but the inconsistency of the noises. If your child tends to wake up due to noises in the night you could try using a sound machine or playing light music through the evening, as this will provide relatively consistent sound.
By keeping the room cool you can aid the cooling process which the body goes through as you fall asleep. As the body prepares for sleep, body temperature drops just slightly, and having a cool room should help support this stage of sleep.
5. Comfort is Key
Sleeping in an uncomfortable bed unsurprisingly has a negative effect on anyone’s sleep quality. It is important to ensure that your child’s mattress is in good condition and doesn’t have any lumps or bumps that could be interrupting sleep. It is also equally as important to make sure your child is happy in their bed, as if they are not, they are less likely to get a quality night’s sleep. It could be worth asking your child if they feel comfortable at night, or test out the mattress for yourself, just to double check.
Children truly aren’t that different from adults in their ability to enjoy and appreciate relaxation just as much as we do. By considering the things you enjoy doing in order to relax, you won’t go far wrong, after all everyone needs to get a good night’s sleep.
Article Submitted By Community Writer