5 Tips for Winding Down Before Bed

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As a parent, you’re probably familiar with the struggle of getting your child to bed for the night. To avoid the fight, you may at times find yourself more lenient with sleep schedules, especially during summer. However, with a new school year fast approaching, it’s important to reestablish nighttime routines and create good sleep habits.

Children in preschool and elementary school should obtain 10-12 hours of sleep each night to promote proper growth and development. A full night of peaceful sleep can also contribute to good behavior and a better attention span, ultimately helping your child excel in the classroom.

So, as summer comes to a close, learn how to avoid the nighttime battle with these tips for winding down before bed:

1. Establish a routine. Creating a quiet bedtime routine with a few small activities can help your child get into a nighttime rhythm and prepare for sleep. Your routine should begin at the same time every night and may include grabbing a snack, taking a bath, brushing teeth and reading a book in bed.

2. Turn off the electronics. TV shows or video games that contain exciting or violent content can be too stimulating for the brain before bedtime, resulting in trouble falling asleep. Instead of turning to your child's favorite show before bed, try reading a book together to relax.

3. Cut down on caffeine. Caffeine can stay in the body for six hours or longer, which can make it difficult to fall asleep and often causes nighttime awakenings. Avoid incorporating highly caffeinated foods or drinks into your child's dinner or evening snacks so that sleep comes easier at bedtime.

4. Create a comfortable environment. Your child's bedroom should be an area conducive to rest. Control incoming light with room-darkening shades and set the temperature at a cool level to create a more peaceful sleep environment.

5. Set a bedtime. Young children may not be able to tell time, but their bodies can. By establishing a bedtime and staying consistent throughout weekends and summer, your child will become sleepy at the appropriate time without prompting, making your task a lot easier!

By incorporating these practices into your nighttime schedule, you’ll see a difference in your child’s sleep behavior before you know it! For more bedtime tips and tricks, check out our Guide for Getting Your Child Back Into a Sleep Routine for School.

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