Establishing a good bedtime routine is integral to a good night’s sleep. A good routine should be:
- Developing a good night-time routine is best achieved by firstly establishing a good daytime routine.
- It helps if things happen in the same order at roughly the same time each day.
- As foods can affect energy levels and sleepiness, make sure your child eats a healthy, balanced diet throughout the day. A light snack such as a banana on toast or warm glass of milk can act as a natural sleep inducer.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks for at least 4 hours before bedtime.
- Too much screen time and a lack of activity prevents good sleep.
- Children who get daily exercise fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep longer. Avoid activity in the hour before bedtime though since exercise is stimulating.
- Where your child sleeps can be a key to quality sleep. Make sure bedroom temperature is comfortable (16-18 degrees) and the environment is cosy and calming.
- It helps if your child is put into their bed awake so that they learn to fall asleep without you and learn how to get back to sleep if they wake during the night.
- A favourite soft toy can be available if your child is unable to go to sleep straightaway.
One Minute Guidance for a good bedtime routine
- Maintain a consistent bedtime and waking time.
- Develop a consistent bedtime routine: tea-bath-story-bed.
- Create a cosy sleep environment.
- Make sure your child gets enough daily physical activity.
- Encourage a soothing pre bed routine that creates sleepiness.