Sleep is supposed to bring feelings of relaxation and and rejuvenation … but then #kidshappened. They either don’t want to fall asleep, won’t stay asleep, or sleep in bed with us. Anyone ever sleep as the letter H? Not sure what it means? You may be part of a lucky few who don’t have their smaller child kick or punch you back all night. Here are some tips to help your kids – and you – have a more restful night.
Ways to Help Children Fall Asleep Faster (and Stay Asleep)
These are definitely the most important part of a good night’s sleep. Most of us don’t realize how important repetition is to children. Starting your wind-down at the same exact time every night is key. Make sure to bathe your child every night to help build the mental process for bedtime. I also suggest reading a book and singing a song. All of this should be in the same order and occur every night.
I bet dinner doesn’t cross your mind when thinking about bedtime. Having dinner a few hours before bedtime will allow their tummies to settle. One thing I learned the hard way as a mom was that if they will poop, they will do it just as they fall asleep. Giving them an opportunity to digest dinner will help them ease into sleep quicker, and create less opportunity for you to have to bother them. (Think changing a diaper with an active toddler is awful? Try when they are sleeping.)
Summer is upon us, and with summer comes a later sunset. Buying a pair of black out curtains will help your child’s circadian rhythm get back in sync.
Make sure you listen to your child and experiment with what works for a comfortable room. Not all kids need the same thing to fall asleep. Some kids like it hot, others like to be curled up in the cold. My own child will sleep really well when his room is between 72-74 degrees. I know it sounds like work, but once you figure it out you will come back to thank me!
White noise is probably the easiest thing to have. It not only soothes, but drowns out other street and home noise. My child needs white noise in order to fall asleep. If he hears Mommy and Daddy talking, he wants to come hang out! What’s white noise? Buy a fan or room air purifier that creates a hum!
Dabble in the natural stuff. Essential oils aren’t for everyone, but can be helpful. Lavender is an oil that has been used for a long time for relaxation. You can even find lavender in some nighttime lotions. Please do your research on oils before trying. Not all essential oils are created equal. Make sure you are using the best quality around your child. A diffuser is the easiest way to use essential oils for sleep.
Now, It’s Our Turn
In order to be functioning human beings, we need to sleep too! We are incredibly important to our families. If we aren’t on our A game, then stuff isn’t getting done!! So what can we do to help fall asleep fast, and stay sleeping?
Write it Down
Have a diary or journal at the side table. If you are like me, your mind can’t turn off. Have the journal to write down what you want to get accomplished the next day, or something that comes to mind. That way you won’t stress when you fall asleep. How many times have you had a hard time staying asleep because you are worried you will forget something? It happens to the best of us!
Turn that phone on silent and keep the TV off. The light and energy emitted from your television can make it hard to fall asleep, and even harder to stay asleep. Watching dramatic or horror type movies or shows will also come back to haunt you during your dream state! Your phone constantly lighting up your room from notifications will also throw off that circadian rhythm (remember that word from above??).
Read a Book
Make it a happy one of course, but read. We always say we don’t have time, but that 10 minutes we spend on our phone before bed should be spent reading a book instead. It relaxes the mind, and the lack of harmful cell phone light helps us stay asleep too!
Taking time for you is the most important. Exercise has so many health benefits, but better sleep is one of the more important ones.
Essential oils again … make it a family affair. Did you know that the big toe is the connection to the brain? Applying a high quality essential oil to the big toe will help send you off to the sandman, or McDreamy — we all have our needs!