A proven study shows mums whose kids go to sleep on time are more likely to stay sane in their lifetime compared to mums whose kids go to sleep late. So mommies and daddies lets master the art of putting the kids to bed on time simply for the sake of remaining sane.
Kids who sleep on time are healthier, sharper and attentive. Early sleepers have better health and quality of life. This might seem common sense but scientists have also proven this. The sweet silence that falls in the house afterwards is quite a luxury in itself. Since kids fall into deep slumber easily it helps parents have their me time and their daily chores are also executed with more precision and efficiency.
Lack of sleep causes trouble to memorize, reduces creative functioning and also makes keeping eyes open difficult. It also causes irritability and increased risk of injury. In short term, sleep deprivation causes mood swings. In the long term it causes mental and physical health problems.
Hacks to send kids to bed early:
- Darkening the room helps induce sleep. It also readies the child mentally that it’s time for cease-fire and call it a day.
- Apply a digital curfew. The blue lights emitting from gadgets delays the release of melatonin, a hormone that’s responsible for sleep. It increases alertness and resets the internal clock. Hence, avoid carrying your phones when you take the kid to the bed.
- Make a routine. Let the child sleep and wake at the same time every day. That way, subconsciously the body will start releasing sleep hormones and send them signals at the same time every day.
- A soothing warm water bath helps a child calm their overactive minds. The muscles relax helping quieten the anxious mind leading them to fall asleep faster.
- Playing soothing and meditative music helps kids fall into an undisturbed sleep. Scientists have created playlists which help with more snooze-induced sleep. You can google or youtube them.
- Reading stories to them during bedtime is a great idea. Keep their soft toys aligned on the bed while they’re at it. Make them talk and play with the toys. Keep bedtime activity innovative so they look forward to it.
- Make sure the child is comfortable. Clothes or blankets should not restrict movement. The material of the night clothes and the blankets should be breathable.
- Try to make the child’s room soundproof. Or try to avoid any kind of noise around the kid when he’s trying to sleep. Lesser the disturbance, easier to fall in a slumber.
- Address their fears. Don’t dismiss them. Reassure them that it’s safe and you’re in the next room.
- Essential oils like lavender induce sleep. A few drops on the pillow half an hour before the child actually hits the pillow should work fine.
- Buy glow in the dark stars and stick it to the roof of your child’s room ceiling. The glowing stars help the child believe that it’s not entirely dark.
- After a certain age avoids noon siestas. Sleeping for 1-2 hours in the afternoon keeps them energised till late in the night. Avoid noon naps so they can fall asleep earlier and quicker at night.
- Do a few stretching exercises before sleeping. Nothing extreme but a few stretches that help relax the muscles. You can google these and trust me these work wonders.
- Help your children relax with some head rubs. A trick that worked every single time Nani and Dadi tried.
- Gently running your fingers through their hair or soothing back massages helps tremendously.
- It’s important that your children get plenty of exercise during the day which will help them down quicker at night.
- Avoid caffeine or drinks containing sugar a while before bedtime. Just like in adults it triggers alertness and won’t let the child fall asleep on time.
- Similarly, avoid heavy food right before bed. Snacks are perfectly acceptable as long as they’re healthy and not filling.
- Turn on the fan. A room that’s a little cooler than normal body temperature helps to fall asleep quicker. Tuck the child in and let their mind realise its time. Avoid bundling them up.
- Just like adults, kids also have trouble shutting their brains off. Instead of increasing anxiety by insisting it’s time to sleep, focus more on the idea of relaxing and calming.
- Hugging and snuggling should be encouraged for kids during bedtime. It works like wonders!! It really does, because there’s nothing sweeter in the world than mommy or daddy’s love and affection. And like for every other problem in the world nothing reassures them like a hug from a loved one.
- Be on the lookout for sleep disorders. After being active all day mentally and physically and after trying various ideas if the child still has a problem falling asleep or has a disturbing pattern, seek help.
If you keep trying something different every time, it will keep you entertained and the child amused.