The secret to a happy kid is often as simple as a good night’s sleep. Studies show that sleep helps with our immune systems, memories, learning and gives us that conquer-the-world feeling. But every parent knows a full night’s rest is sometimes easier said than done. Here are some tips to help your kids be their best and awaken refreshed.
Consistency is key. If you think you’re doing your children a favor by letting them stay up late, think again. Studies have shown that behavior improves when kids go to sleep at the same time every night. Children who are in school need nine to 12 hours a night, so set a regular bedtime and stick to it.
- Develop a routine. Find pre-bedtime activities that are soothing for your child. It could be bath time, reading books or telling each other stories. Be sure and adhere to that pattern every night and it’ll become an accepted part of the day-to-day expectations.
- Bedtime is quiet time. Your child’s bedroom is their sanctuary, and leading up to nighty-night time, it should be calm, cool, dark and quiet. Speak in whispers to set the tone and help your children settle down.
- Glowing screens, whether they’re television or tablet, can be quite disruptive. Plus, most kids have a tendency to want to keep playing on the device long after lights out. Establish a rule that all electronics are shut down at least an hour before bedtime. That way, you can avoid arguments that could upset the routine.
- Get that excess energy out. Kids have all kinds of energy to burn! Make sure they’re getting enough playground/running around time during the day. If they’re exhausted, bedtime will be that much sweeter.