Many of us don’t get enough sleep – even our children. Children, depending on age, need 10-12 hours of sleep a night but 40% of them aren’t getting enough. Creator of The Good Night Sleep, Alanna McGinn shares her tips to make sure your children are getting a good night’s rest.
Step 1: Stay active during the day
- Exercising, eating well and staying hydrated primes your body for a better sleep.
- Find outdoor family activities that everyone can enjoy together such as family hikes, skating, bike rides, and always have water on hand during family activities.
- Help your child make better food choices and offer water with meals and snacks.
Step 2: Revamp the routine
- Sticking to the same routine night after night trains the body to power down like a clock works.
- Set aside 30 minutes before your child’s bedtime to give that one-on-one attachment.
- Time use this time to read with your child, talk about the day, or plan tomorrows activities.
- Create a relaxing environment by introducing relaxation activities like yoga and mindful breathing before bed.
Step 3: Turn off screens an hour before bed
- The blue light from video games, tablets, smartphones and TV all interfere with sleep.
- Lead by example; create a family docking station within your home, keeping everything out of the bedrooms.
- It’s important to create an environment that encourages the natural release of melatonin to help prepare our children’s body for sleep.
Step 4: Work toward independent sleep
- Most children want their parents to lay in bed with them until they fall asleep or they crawl into your bed in the middle of the night – this can affect their long-term sleep patterns.
- Start a conversation about sleep – talk to them about the importance of it.
- Use different sleep tools to help your little one fall asleep easier (i.e. Tricks of the Sleep Trade), like a toddler alarm clock that visually signals when it’s bedtime, or a nighttime hall pass that gives permission to get out of bed and call for you if needed.
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