Sleep has always been one of life’s greatest joys to me – that and food – are two of my favourite things about life. Nothing feels better than eating a good, hearty meal when you are famished or lying down in a comfortable bed at the end of a long day. Now I, like most people take my sleep very seriously because I believe that resting well at night helps you perform better during the day and I also believe that a good night’s sleep can do wonders for your health! So, when it comes to sleep, I don’t mess around. When it’s time to sleep, I sleep!
Realising how important a good night’s sleep
From being born until
"...I believe that resting well at night helps you perform better during the day and I also believe that a good night’s sleep can do wonders for your health!"
But then when she reached four weeks old, she started sleeping through
For a growing child, the right amount of sleep could be anywhere from eight to twelve hours each night. I know it sounds like a lot but the truth is that without this amount of
(Oh, and did I mention that your kids sleeping well pretty much guarantees you a good night’s sleep as well?!)
"From being born until they’re pretty much teenagers, kids can create difficulty during this part of the day for years and how each child sleep varies from child to child."
1. Before they go to sleep
On days when I am on the ball, supper time is at
This has been a fantastic thing to do in our home because the kids know what to expect every evening and it has helped them create a good bedtime routine which is key to having a great night’s sleep. I guess what I am trying to say that a good night’s sleep starts well before you get into bed. You have to take into consideration the time before you/your kids go to sleep and
Another helpful thing to consider when it comes to kid’s bedtime (and even your own) is the entertainment your child consumes before they go to sleep.
" ...a good night’s sleep starts well before you get into bed."
The human body uses light as an indicator of when it should go to sleep. As it gets darker, a hormone called melatonin is released. Unfortunately, though, this hormone can be disrupted by one of the most common devices out there; the humble digital display (i.e. your phone, tablet, TV, laptop, etc). I don’t know about you but there have definitely been times when I have struggled to either fall asleep or sleep properly when I head to bed just after watching a movie or working late on my laptop or phone. Through doing some research of my own, I discovered that the blue light emitted by most devices actually makes it harder for your brain to start winding down at the end of day because your eyes are still receiving a light signal from your eyes that comes through your phone or TV or computer. So, jumping into bed just after your eyes have been consuming this blue light makes it harder to fall asleep because your brain is wired! And the same principle applies when it comes to kids and sleep.
While watching a cartoon/movie just before going to sleep may give you a bit of a break, in the long run, it may not be the best thing for them to do prior to going to bed. Just like an adult brain, their little brains will be working overtime from consuming that blue light which may result in a restless night of sleep. A way to combat this could be having them do other activities before going to bed like drinking a warm cup of milk while colouring in, reading a book (or you read them a book) or just letting them play a bit before going to bed. I am not writing this as an expert, but I am sharing with you practical tips that I think might be able to help you and your little ones sleep better at night. In having kids of my own, I have found that a big part of ensuring a good night’s sleep means controlling the entertainment my kids consume before heading to bed and having a solid night time routine. By having set times for things like TV time and bed, you will make it a lot easier to control this part of their life and to help them and you sleep well.
2. While they sleep
You know that awesome feeling you experience when you get into a warm and comfortable bed at the end of day…chances are, you kids enjoy that feeling just as much as you so be sure to be extra careful when purchasing a bed for your little one/s. I think that a lot of parents end up buying cheap, flimsy beds for their kids – and, of course, this seems to makes sense – because odds are that they will break or grow out of any bed you give them before too long.
Growth spurts are real, lol!
But here’s something I think every parent/guardian should at least consider when it comes to buying a bed for their little one – a good night’s sleep each night is more important than a little bit of money. Now, don’t hear what I am not saying! I am not saying that you need to spend a small fortune buying your precious child a bed. I personally believe that just because it may be expensive doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best and I stick by that theory pretty much all the time, even when it comes to beds. Beds and cots can be expensive – especially if you have more than one child and good beds don’t necessarily have to cost a lot. All I am saying is that a new bed can make a real difference to your child’s ability to sleep. When choosing a bed, it’s important that you use reviews to get an idea of what’s out there, look at options like bunk and cabin beds until you find the perfect choice for your children. Even the style of bed could impact your child’s chances of sleeping soundly, so it can be worth trying to see the bed in the flesh before you spend anything on one.
Another thing to bear in mind when it comes to sleep and your little one is to bear in mind that like some adults, some children are very light sleepers, making it hard to stay awake when even small noises and other distractions are around. Of course, after a short time of living with your child, you should have a good idea of how they sleep. With our kids, we realised that while our daughter could probably sleep through a hurricane, our son was far more sensitive to noise than she was. Sometimes, just opening the door to check on him while he napped could make him stir. I will say that while things have gotten better with our son, it took some time for us to figure this out and to better accommodate for his “light-sleeperness”. I will say that figuring out if your child is a light sleeper or not may not be a simple thing to do because in a lot of cases, the child themselves may not realise that it’s the TV you’re watching or the music that you’re listening to which keeps them up. Instead, they may simply try to sleep through it and that may not go down super well. Now, I’m not necessarily saying that you should go to bed when your kids do (although, we have sometimes done that it has been awesome to get 10 hours of sleep!) but what I am saying is that maybe you just need to be thoughtful when consuming entertainment and moving around your home while your little one is still falling asleep
Hopefully, this post will give you some good ideas of things you try if you’re struggling to get the little ones to sleep at night. Sleep is important to adults and kids alike but, during this time when kids are still so small, they will be relying heavily on you to help them with it as you are the voice of reason in their life. Yes, it will take time for you to get right and it finding your groove will take some figuring out, but it will be worth it once everyone in the house is getting the sleep they need. Trust me!