If your child is excessively sleepy or just doesn’t feel well rested in the morning, what can you do about it? Fortunately, we have 10 helpful tips to improve your child’s sleep hygiene!
1. Create a set bedtime routine for your child. A predictable series of quiet, calm and relaxing activities should lead up to bedtime.
2. Bedtime and wake-up time should be approximately the same time every night of the week. Late weekend nights or sleeping-in can throw off a sleep schedule for days.
3. Avoid use of electronic devices/screens for 1 hour prior to bedtime and store these devices somewhere other than the bedroom. Beds are for sleeping. Lying on a bed and doing other activities (e.g., watching TV, using a tablet or computer) makes it hard for your brain to associate your bed with sleep.
4. Avoid caffeine.
5. Make sure your child spends time outside every day whenever possible and is involved in regular exercise.
6. Keep the room quiet and dark and at a comfortable temperature. A low-level nightlight is a good idea for kids who don’t want the room completely dark.
7. Put children to bed when they are drowsy but still awake. Allowing children to fall asleep in places other than their bed teaches them to associate sleep with locations other than the bed.
8. Worry time should not be at bedtime. Children who tend to worry in the late evening can try having a “worry time” scheduled earlier when they are encouraged to think about and discuss their worries with a parent.
9. Relaxation techniques such as performing deep, slow abdominal breaths or imagining positive scenes like being on a beach can help your child relax.
10. Children who stare at clocks should have their clocks turned away from them.