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April 9, 2019

Counting Sheep – Best Bedtime Practices

Getting your kids to go to bed can be hard sometimes, and getting them into a healthy routine can be struggling, especially for new parents. We've teamed up with Rebecca Michi, a children's sleep consultant, to answer the most common questions on how to create a healthy bedtime routine for your kids, so you can get the well deserved rest you need as well!

How much sleep should my child be getting?
This depends on the age of the child, a child under 3 months will get between 14-17 hours of sleep per 24 hours, 4-11 will get between 12-15 hours per 224. 1-2 year olds will get between 11-14 hours and 3-5 year olds will get between 10-13 hours per 24. Every child is unique and has an amount of sleep they need.

What foods should I avoid or encourage for a healthy bedtime routine?
Some foods can help us sleep;they can help us fall asleep and remain asleep. Some examples are; oatmeal and milk, apple and cheese, banana and almonds.

How can I create an ideal sleeping environment?
The space your child sleeps in can have a positive effect on the way they sleep. We want the space to be between 65F and 68F. The sleeping space should be dark; when we are in the dark we product melatonin, this is a hormone we produce that induces sleep. Blackout curtains will help you keep the room nice and dark. We also want to keep screens and energy saving light bulbs from the bedroom, they have a broad spectrum of light much like sunlight, and they inhibit the production of melatonin.

What activities encourage going to bed?
Studies show that children who get a massage before bed have an easier time falling asleep and remaining asleep. You can use a massage as part of your nightly routine. Your night routine should be consistent, do the same thing in the same place in the same order. The predictability of the routine is relaxing, the more relaxed your child is the easier time they will have falling asleep.

What do I do about those pesky monsters under the bed?
I am not a fan of monster sprays etc. all they are doing is letting your child think they need to be protected from something! Try to understand why your child is afraid, Is it shadows? Noises? You can help your child during the day to understand what these are, don't try to fix it at night, you can then remind your child of the shadows, noises, etc. and what they are as you are getting ready for bed.

What if my child still has persistent difficulty going to sleep?
Lots of times children are either under-tired or over-tired when we are trying to get them down to sleep. Both over and under-tired will make it harder for your child to fall asleep and remain asleep, try tweaking the timing. Make sure your nightly routine is as relaxing as possible; it takes time for us to unwind and relax the routine should be at least 30 minutes before getting your child into bed. If they are still struggling, you can reach out to a children's Sleep Consultant for help.

For more information, check out Rebecca Michi at www.slumberacademy.com