How to Help Kids Make and Keep Healthy Sleep Habits
By Brooke Chaplan
There are so many aspects to consider when you’re raising healthy children. A major part of that process involves a good night’s rest. All throughout childhood, an individual experiences a ton of growth spurts. The body needs rest in order to help facilitate growth. In order to help your children practice healthy sleeping habits, incorporate the following tactics into your regimen.
Implement an Electronics-free Zone
In this age of technology, so many children love to spend copious amounts of time on their smartphones and tablets. While there’s nothing wrong with engaging with online resources of entertainment and education, there’s a blue light that emits from these devices. Blue light has the power to keep the brain awake and stimulated for a longer period of time. This is why it’s best to trade in the electronics for a book after a certain time of day. As you allow your children to read a book before bedtime, it’s a great way to remain entertained as they drift off to sleep.
Create Well-Rounded Schedules
If your children are active throughout the day, their beds will become a welcoming safe place by the end of the day. Make sure they’re exercising and exerting energy with various activities. Create schedules that include chores, educational activities, and outdoor play. While it doesn’t need to feel as though they’re in the military, it’s wise to incorporate a sense of structure to their day. Even if they’re doing activities like baking cookies and working with puzzles, the structure will allow them to remain occupied and busy.
Reserve the Bedroom for Rest
When the children wake up in the morning, make sure they get ready for the day and leave their rooms. It’s better for them to hang out and play in their play areas in the house. Keep the bedroom associated with sleep by making it a comfortable cozy space. Invest in quality bedding and comfortable mattresses. If they need to take a nap, they can retreat to their bedroom.
Lead by Example
If you’re not well-rested, it’s going to be difficult to preach this message to your children. After all, they will follow your example. As a parent, you probably won’t get the same amount of sleep as your children. However, do your best to follow the same rules in order to support your optimal health.
While rest isn’t an experience that all children desire, it is essential to their overall health. By starting these habits as soon as possible, you’ll be able to place them on a path to optimal health for the duration of their life. Too often, people try to cheat the system by drinking loads of coffee or learning to operate on less sleep. Instead, if they learn from a young age to provide a sense of balance, they’ll develop sleep habits that will never leave them.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan