Regardless of age, a good night’s sleep is critical to mental and physical health.
Children, in particular, need a lot of nighttime rest because their bodies are still developing.
Establishing and maintaining healthy sleeping habits ensure proper development and reduce the bedtime conflicts that occur between parents and children.
Let’s consider the benefits of establishing a nighttime routine for the kids and what can you do to encourage them to rest effectively.
Sleep and Healthy Childhood Development
Studies show that youngsters with later bedtimes are likely to suffer from motor, language, and social deficits.
Sleep-deprived children are less alert during the day and are likely to sleep at odd hours or take long naps, all of which could disrupt slumber at night.
Young ones who did not get enough nighttime’s rest perform poorly in school too.
Sleep-deprived kids are also likely to throw temper tantrums and/or indulge in unhealthy foods.
A tired child’s body and mind are likely to crave sugar as a quick energy boost.
That’s because low-quality rest affects their mood and appetite.
As much as possible, reduce your child’s sugar intake throughout the day and definitely cut out all sugar after 7 or 8 pm.
Resist the temptation to use a sugary dessert as motivation for them to finish their dinner. Bribery is not an effective way to deal with a fussy or picky eater.
Quality nighttime rest promotes proper mental, physical and emotional development so the concerned caregiver will do everything possible to ensure their baby, infant or toddler gets a good nights sleep.
Parenting Tips for Reducing Bedtime Battles
End of day battles are common, especially among young children.
Your child’s resistance to slumber is not only stressful to you but to the little one too.
Children resist bedtime for numerous reasons but poor sleep routine is the most common.
A sleep routine reduces power struggles, temper tantrums, and poor behavior, particularly among toddlers and preschoolers.
Unfortunately, poor behavior and temper tantrums become worse over time so it’s important to train your child to go to bed at a set time before they develop bad habits.
Sticking to a healthy nighttime routine helps ease your child to sleep.
When your child is accustomed to sleeping at a particular time, he or she will go to bed without struggle.
That’s just how the human body works.
And when your young one doesn’t need much convincing to hit the sack, you are less stressed out too!
High-Quality Sleep for Parents and Children
Sleep-deprivation affects the body mentally and physically and this is true regardless of age.
When your child isn’t getting enough quality rest at night, they may have a hard time staying asleep and falling back to sleep may be a challenge.
Sleep-deprived children are less likely to enjoy a satisfying rest because the body clock is not balanced.
Establishing a nighttime routine ensures that your child is getting all the rest he or she needs for the night.
Well-rested kids enjoy better sleep quality too.
What’s more, kiddies who sleep at set times every night are getting more rest compared to sleep-deprived kids.
By establishing bedtime routines, your little one will wake up every morning feeling energized, refreshed and alert!
And let’s not forget that sleep-deprivation affects adults as well.
Mom and dad need a good nights sleep in order to be the best parents they can possibly be.
If your little one is under age four or so, you might want to consider the benefits of co-sleeping.
Letting your child sleep with you or in their own bed next to yours can make it easier for both of you to get high-quality rest every night.
Bonding with Your Little One
Bedtime routines also foster a deeper connection with your youngster.
Cuddling, singing lullabies, a warm bath, story time, these slumber time activities will strengthen your bond with your child.
Moments like this give people great memories of their childhood.
How to Establish a Sleep Routine in the Home
Start by setting a fixed bedtime and sticking to it.
Some kids require more sleep than others do.
Talk with your child’s pediatrician or child development specialist about the right sleep time for your child.
Consistency is key.
Since your child’s body clock will adjust to the routine, you have to keep the lights out time natural and consistent.
This way, they will feel naturally sleepy when it’s nearing bedtime.
It’s equally important to set a waking time every morning to prevent over-sleeping!
It’s not enough to remind the kids that it’s bedtime, you have to develop a ritual to ease them into slumber.
This ritual could include giving them a warm bath and a quick massage to help them relax.
Get them dressed for bed, choosing comfortable PJs made from breathable material.
Make sure the material is not too warm or too light for optimum comfort.
Finally, get them into bed and read a bedtime story.
Storytime is universally loved by kids so incorporate this into your nightly routine.
Ideally, you and your partner will take turns performing the nighttime rituals.
Once you get a routine developed these evening activities can become enjoyable for everyone and provide numerous opportunities for parent-child bonding.
Creating a room that’s conducive to sleep is important especially for hyperactive kids who refuse to wind down!
Keep the children’s room free from distractions that could keep them from sleeping, such as video games, TV, or mobile devices.
Make sure the temperature is cool and dark (with a nightlight if needed), not stuffy and light.
Play soft music to help them drift off to sleep.
Bedtime routines help young children fall asleep faster and stay asleep while improving the quality of their nighttime rest.
Healthy nighttime habits could also prevent the onset of sleep disorders while minimizing slumber time battles.
Getting the kids into bed and asleep every night doesn’t have to be a battle or struggle.
When you develop healthy routines for bedtime and establish a sleep-friendly bedroom, you can put an end to the nightly combat.
Follow these steps and the entire family will benefit from a peaceful evening routine and healthier sleep:
- Set a consistent sleep time and stick to it
- For children under 4 years of age, consider the benefits of co-sleeping
- Develop a ritual for bedtime – bath, putting on PJs, snuggling in bed, reading books, singing lullabies – spend this quality time bonding with your child while helping them unwind
- Establish a sleep-friendly bedroom