“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” So how are we supposed to help our children get to bed on time and get a good quality of sleep in the 7-9 hours they have in bed? Some ways to help, you may already be familiar with and trying to implement, while others you may not have heard of. Here are 3 ways I found to help children get a better night’s sleep: lose the electronics, breakfast before bed, and make bedtime special.
Lose the Electronics
There is a blue light in most of our electronic screens that triggers our brains to stay awake. Because of this, it is suggested that we turn off all of our electronic devices a half hour before we go to bed. I would take it a little further if possible. To allow time for our brains to relax, we might need between 45 minutes to an hour of electronic free time before bed. This is a hard thing to do for most of us. One way to help our kids have the self-control to put away electronics is for us as parents to do the same. Make this a time for family.
Breakfast Before Bed (Who Knew?)
I was surprised by this one, seeing as most of us do this in the morning after bed. Here are a few foods experts recommend that are full of specific nutrients that help our bodies naturally fall asleep: oatmeal with milk, wheat toast with natural peanut butter, eggs, bananas, cheese, and cereal. Of course, there are other foods as well, but these are just the ones we normally eat for breakfast. So if your child is hungry before bed, these are great snacks for them at this time.
Make Bedtime Special
It has been found that children perform best in predictable environments. So let’s make bedtime predictable. Do your best to keep bedtime at the same time each night. I know this can be hard sometimes, especially on weekends. If you can’t get the kids to bed on time, at least keep them in a regular routine. Everyone’s routine is going to be different because none of us are the same. Some suggestions to include in your routine might be cuddling, reading a bedtime story, and talking. Again this can be a great time for family.
These are just 3 of the many things we can try to help our children get the best night’s sleep. Of course, if we really want this to happen we, as the parents, need to do our part. Children learn best by example. If they see mom and dad do these things, they are more likely to do them as well. They might not follow your example immediately, but if you keep it consistent, they will eventually. And who knows? Maybe these could work for you too!
Laura Colledge (Bravo Employee)