Kids need atleast 8 to 9 hours of good sleep to get ample rest and bounce back again with a renewed energy. Erratic sleep patterns trigger unhealthy behaviour like frustration, anger, irritability and tantrums. This could trickle down in other aspects of their life like their relationships, daily activities etc. Research says that along with healthy eating habits, a good sleep hygiene lowers sleep related disorders and other chronic or lifestyle illnesses in kids. When we talk about child care, we often talk about nutritious foods, their vaccination schedule etc but there is an increasing need to prioritize and improve kids’ sleep so that their physical and mental health is in place. Know practical as well as effective bed time routine for kids from Newmi to soothe their bubbling energy during night time.
What is a bed time routine?
A bed time routine is a slew of activities that you do every night on a repetitive basis to put your child to sleep. You switch off their thought circuit and high flowing energy through these activities so that they can go to bed at a reasonable time and get required amount of sleep. Bed time habits are habits that create a calm and soothing atmosphere for kids and naturally guide them to sleep. Either you can practice reading books with your kids, tell stories to each other, or give a warm shower or bath to your kids or dim the lights of your room. All these activities come under healthy bed time routine.
Why is it important to have a structured bed time routine for kids?
By doing this you are helping your kid’s body get used to a regular sleep schedule. A structured bed time routine helps your kid understand the day time and bed time and get them adjusted to the sun’s rhythm. It alleviates anxiety and stress in kids, makes them more focussed, and increases their reasoning and overall cognitive functioning. The benefits of having a sleep routine are many but more importantly it enhances creativity, makes them more aware and connected with nature. Sleep is vital for our body to rejuvenate, discard the toxins, and power up the immunity levels. Many of the diseases get cured if we have a quality sleep as sleep repairs our injuries and speeds up the healing process. Kids expend of energy during the day like jumping, running and playing so it is mandatory for them to have a good night sleep.
How to improve your kids’ sleep with healthy bed time routine?
Switch off the lights – Dim the lights of the room. Drape the curtains and make the room dark. Dark rooms act as an unsung lullaby, lulling them from the inside and help them gravitate towards sleep. An environment bereft of light tunes their circadian rhythm with the daylight and automatically wakes them when the sun is up.
Reading books – Reading during bed time not only builds a reading habit in kids but also induces them to sleep. You can ask your kid to choose a book. Giving kids agency to take decisions will make them feel important and make them inclined more towards books. You can take turns and distribute reading between yourselves. Lead by example. Take a book with you and start reading. Kids get influenced by their parents and when they see you reading, it will generate interest in them. Kids who read sleep better.
Warm bath – A nice warm bath will help your child wind down and hit the bed soon. Let them enjoy their bath and keep their bathing essentials or accessories ready when they go into a bathroom. Nurturing a bath time routine bed time is a step to inch them closer to bed. Play a soft and melodious music track when they take bath.
Follow a consistent routine – Choose a bedtime that allows kids to get the recommended amount of sleep for their age. Try to maintain the set routine and do not meander too much away from it as it will cause confusion in kids. Stick to a routine that works for you.
Say no to screentime – Watching TV or playing on mobile phones are not healthy and it will delay sleep in kids. Mobile phones or TV emit blue light which supresses the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep. Radiation exposure coming from mobiles are known as electro magnetic radiation which disrupts the sleep patterns and poses harm for their eyes. Watching content on phones before sleep will shatter their sleep-wake cycle and will cause sleep issues that could last for lifetime. You can allow limited screentime during the day but steer clear of it before bed.
Talk to your child – Bed time routine also calls or deepening your bond with your kid. Talk to kids, ask them how was their day, get to know how they felt during the day and what difficult emotions they battled with. When you talk to them, it will launch a feeling of trust which will help them to open their hearts to you. A sense of security and safety is what kids aim to receive and when that is achieved, a peaceful sleep follows.
Establishing a bedtime routine for kids can be a helpful way to promote healthy sleep habits. A good quality sleep in kids can positively impact their general health and builds their stamina at a different level. These are small steps from Newmi care team that you can take to motivate your kids to sleep better and make bedtime a enjoyable time for them.