October 29th, 2017 Wellness
One of the biggest challenges a parent may have is getting their children to sleep, and staying asleep! Because this is such an issue, I have been looking into how to ensure that our little ones get to sleep before it’s too late, and they have trouble waking in the morning or cut into our precious evening adult time! I wanted to share some interesting things that may help you with your bedtime routine as well!
Electronics can greatly affect melatonin production
With melatonin use in children on the rise, I wanted to learn a bit more about what exactly it is, and why it helps with sleep.. Thanks to some great info on babysleepscience.com, I now know! Our natural melatonin is produced ONLY when we are in darkness. It is our bodies way of saying night time is for sleeping, and the minute a light is switched on, that production stops. Melatonin actually does not make your child sleep longer, it just works with sleep and the circadian rhythm, dictating WHEN your child sleeps, so that giving them added doses of melatonin will only make them sleep earlier, therefore waking earlier. An i-pad on, a TV in the background or a cell phone lit up can actually prohibit your child’s natural path to sleep and create a later sleep schedule.
Set the stage for a successful night’s sleep
An hour before bedtime, be sure to turn off the electronics and try replacing them with story time, which has loads of benefits for their growing minds preparing them to read themselves, helping to build their vocabulary and creating bonding time as an added bonus! During story time you may want to be sure to only have enough light in the room to read the book, a bedtime lamp would be best. Maybe you even skip the book from time to time, turning all of the lights off and engage in creativity by taking turns telling silly stories! End your last story with a relaxing story that will help with sleep.
Lights out, it’s bed-time!
So, turn those electronics off an hour before bedtime, remove night-lights from the bedroom and enjoy the silence that will follow as your little ones drift off to a soundless sleep. Your child may demand that a light is on to keep away monsters so try mixing up some lavender essential oil with water and making a “monster spray” to use before you leave the room, telling them that the spray will keep away any scary things, and this will also relax them into sleep!