Getting your kids to relax and wind-down before bedtime can be a struggle, as they may not want to have any downtime or go to sleep at all. There are plenty of distractions in the modern day, like screens and the internet, and these can make it difficult for anyone to relax and sleep. Sleep is so incredibly important, and getting the right amount of good quality sleep is vital for anyone, regardless of their age. Here are a few tips on how you might be able to make night-time routines easier for everyone involved.
Importance of routine
Setting up a routine is important in solidifying good habits and can make children feel more comfortable and secure. Having a reliable night-time routine will help them to relax and remind them that it is time to sleep. It is natural for humans to fear the unknown, and children can become stressed or unsettled at sudden changes, which is turn makes it hard for them to sleep. You can help them relax and feel comfortable by sticking to the same tasks each night. While some changes cannot be avoided, it is helpful to keep to routines where you can, as there are many benefits to a routine such as teaching children to cooperate and teaching them to eventually learn to take charge of their own tasks. It may even eventually become something that your child looks forward to each night.
Part of this routine should include brushing their teeth before bed. It important to brush teeth at least twice a day for two minutes, so make sure their teeth and gums are healthy. There are many types of toothbrushes available, and a fun, popular choice for kids is a musical one. These play a tune for two minutes, which keeps your child entertained while making sure they are brushing for the right amount of time. Brushing your teeth at the same time as your children do will help set an example, and will show them that is it a normal task that everyone has to do, no matter how old they are!
Poor oral hygiene can result in tooth problems that may only appear in later life. By setting up a good tooth-brushing routine now, you will be able to impart the importance of these tasks, and make sure they become a healthy habit for your kids. As well as brushing their teeth, regular dental checks can help keep teeth healthy and spot any issues early on. There are plenty of ways to treat tooth problems, from braces to low cost tooth implants, so make sure your child regularly sees a specialist to keep their teeth in tip top condition.
Reading is a brilliant alternative to watching TV before bed, and is beneficial for your child in many ways. Whether you read to them or they read on their own, it allows them to expand their imagination and creativity, and practice their reading skills. Reading to your child is a wonderful way to spend some quality time with them, which is great for the both of you. Reading out loud to your child can help them to develop their speech and communication skills, as well as their concentration and focus. This is particularly helpful if your child is fidgety before bedtime, as it can teach them to relax and just listen to the story.
There are plenty of books and stories to choose from, so you will be able to find something to interest even the pickiest of readers! In general reading is a great way to reduce stress, extend vocabulary and expand your imagination, so it is a great skill to encourage in your young ones! Reading can also exercise your child’s brain and help them develop their knowledge of the world around them, as well as developing empathy. Reading a diverse selection of books introduces your child to worlds and characters that are different from their own, opening them up to different perspectives and situations that they may not see if their everyday lives.
It is no surprise that screens are an incredibly common part of our lives, but they can impact the quality of your sleep. While it may be tempting to let your children watch some TV before bed, the blue light that screens emit can inhibit the brain from producing melatonin. This is the hormone that helps maintain your biological clock, and it is produced in the pineal gland. Switching off screens well before bedtime, and replacing them with activities such as reading, can help to keep your child’s sleep-wake cycle more regular, allowing them to get the correct amount and quality of sleep.
This is also the same for adults, as you may find yourself checking emails or social media whilst lying in bed. While this is tempting, it can impact your sleep too. You could try reading instead, as this will help you relax and unwind without disturbing your sleep.
If your child is afraid of the dark, bedtime can be a particularly stressful experience. Using a nightlight may help alleviate some of these fears, as they can be left on all night to emit a soft glow in their room. Nightlights are small and can be plugged straight into the socket, removing trip hazards like wires and taking up much less space than a traditional lamp. There are also plenty of colors and designs to choose from, so your child can pick out one that they like the most. Some even project stars onto the ceiling, which makes bedtime even more exciting.
These are just a few ways that you may be able to make bedtime less stressful for you and your child. There are many ways to develop a healthy routine and it may take time to discover what works best for you all. Sleep is incredibly important for everyone, and it is vital to make sure your child gets the correct amount of sleep so that they can function properly during the day.