Helping your child fall asleep.

“Spring ahead” sounds so positive until you remember this means that you and your children will loose an hour of sleep. This year we tried to wear them out with a trip to NW Trek Wildlife Park and a visit with their grandparents before bed. Everyone was ready for sleep but the morning was still quite rough. My first-grader told me he thought he could fall asleep on the bus and my preschooler was an emotional wreck.

Daylight savings is one of those unavoidable sleep disruptors (unless you live in Arizona) and is felt by all. Fortunately, this does not have to be an everyday occurance. Getting enough rest leads more stable moods and energy levels for the whole family. From a practical standpoint this means Mom has more patient and the kids are less likely to completely flip out at 3pm.
Here are three tips to getting a good night sleep:

  1. Make sure their evironment is conducive to sleep – Their bedrooms should relatively dark and cool. However, if your child is afraid of the dark a nightlight is a great idea. Your child should be comfortable and should view their bedroom as a pleasurable place to be. We all sleep better when we feel safe and comfortable.
  2. Have a routine – Kids thrive on routine even more than adults. Begin 30 minutes to an hour before you want them to go to sleep. The routine may include teeth brushing, bath and storytime. Kids will quickly recognize the steps in this part of their day and begin winding down.
  3. Turn off media at least an hour before bed – the light emitted by computers, Iphones and television sets has been shown to decrease melatonin levels in our brain. It is them chemical that induces sleep. Turning off media sources and opting for a book, songs or massages for your children will help them fall asleep much more easily (it works for parents too!)
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