All parents know the effect a poor night’s sleep can have on our kids. Lack of sleep can cause crankiness, problems with attention and learning and behavior issues.
Here are a few tips to help your kids (and you) sleep better.
- Encourage exercise during the day. (Long walks, swimming, playing in the park). Studies show increasing physical activity through the day can lead to better sleep.
- Limit young kid’s exposure to violent content. Especially for kids younger than 8, seeing violence on videos, TV shows, video games, and movies can directly affect quality sleep. Exposure to media violence can increase kids’ anxiety and lead to nightmares that interrupt the sleep cycle.
- Establish an hour or so before bed as a time for kids to wind down. A calming routine such as bath followed by quiet activities or reading will help young kids transition more easily. A couple of excellent bedtime stories are The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn and Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown.
- Rocking or cuddling your child works best when accompanied by a smooth song. No matter how terrible your voice may be, your child will love it. Try a couple of traditional lullabies such as Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, or You Are My Sunshine. At the end of the day, any song that is sung in a loving tone, accompanied by some pats on the back will relax your child. Zzz¦.
By Judy Woodhouse ECE
Children’s book author