Bedtime is a constant battleground in some households. There’s always an element of psychological warfare as the master small people find ever more ingenuous ways to get out of going to bed.
But it’s very important that children get a good night’s sleep. Whilst there is no precise amount of sleep that your child should get, the NHS recommends that by the age of four they should be getting a solid eleven hours at night. And this number will naturally decrease until they reach that magical eight hours of sleep at around sixteen years.
So how can you help to ensure that your child gets a good night’s sleep? Here are a few tips.
A comfortable place
One of the key things will be to make sure that your child’s bedroom is somewhere that they feel like they’ll want to sleep.
Make sure that the curtains block out any outside light effectively. And if there is unavoidable noise from outside sources, maybe invest in some speakers that will play soft, continuous music to mask any unwelcome distractions.
It’s also a good idea to invest in a comfortable new bed. A good bed can make bedtime all the more attractive to a child – just make sure that it’s big enough for them to grow into!
The importance of routine
Making sure that your child winds down naturally to bedtime is very important too. This is why it’s good to find a pattern that finds with your child’s activity and stick to it so that their body learns to sleep at the right times.
Try and make sure that any visitors have left the area where the child is before bedtime occurs. And think about having a regular bath or storytime sessions before bed so that your child feels like they’ve received enough attention to finally think about getting some rest.
The omnipresence of screens, whether it be televisions or tablets can also have a harmful effect on your child’s sleeping patterns. The artificial light that such devices generate can interfere with the natural production of melatonin that our bodies produce to aid sleep.
With this in mind, try and ensure that your child has no screen time at least an hour before bed. And definitely try and keep any electronic devices such as phones and computers out of the bedroom so that the room is associated with only thing only; sleep!