Bedtime routines give kids the best opportunity to get a good night’s sleep which sets up their day. It also starts habits that will hopefully mean good sleep well into adulthood. Here are a few things to help kids set and maintain a good bedtime routine.
1. Bedtime is the same time every night
Kids should know when their bedtime is, even before they can read time, and it should be the same time for the week and on the weekends. This gives kids boundaries to work in and sets their body clock.
2. Fair warning
Give kids about 30 minutes warning before bedtime, especially for those that can’t tell the time yet. This will help with transitioning and give them an opportunity to finish up whatever they are doing.
3. Relax before bed
Excitable activities and raising the heart rate should be reserved for earlier in the day, activities before bed should be relaxing and calm. Swap the table tennis tournament for reading or preparing uniforms/lunches for the next day.
4. Have clear order of things to do before bed
Have an established order of things to be done e.g. change into PJs, brush teeth, pick a book and get into bed and read together for 30 minutes. Having an order reminds the brain when these activities occur it means it’s time for bed and activate brain activity to prepare for sleep.
5. Read together as much as possible
Reading to kids is linked with so many benefits beyond education, and before bed is the perfect opportunity for it. For the teenagers, reading separate books, but together, is a great substitute.
6. Set up the child’s bedroom
The bedroom should be quiet, at a comfortable temperature and as light as the child is comfortable with. These conditions are conducive to falling and staying asleep.
7. Wake up the same time
Just as a consistent bedtime maintains good sleep and kid’s body clocks, so does a similar waking time every morning. Just as when they are falling asleep, if they wake up before their wake time, encourage them to stay in bed and doze until the normal wake time.
8. Sleep in their bed, not yours
For anxious kids, who tend to want to sleep in parent beds, it’s easier to transition them back to solo sleeping if the parent sleeps in their bedroom, in their own bed. If kids want to jump into bed with you in the middle of the night, suggest sleeping together in their bed instead.
If you and your family need further support then give us a call to make a time with one of our team members.
~ Article written by Rosie Lucarelli - Psychologist here at Melbourne Wellbeing Group.