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In our busy lives full of activities, homework and intruding technology, how are parents to help their children get sufficient time with Mr. Sandman? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Set and keep to a routine
Bedtime routines make a world of difference. Set a specific time for going to sleep every night and a time for waking up, depending on your child's age and your family's schedule, and stick to it. Consistency is key. Include a bedtime story, a glass of milk, and a short cuddle every night to signal to your child that it's time to sleep and provide the security needed as they nod off to sleep.
2. Have a snack
Brown and Black have a snack in the Dr. Seuss book "Hop on Pop." Kids can have one, too, before heading to bed. It can actually help your kids sleep better. According to Today's Parent, protein and carbohydrates combined in a small snack aid sleep by forming "amino acids that act like tryptophan, the chemical that makes you feel sleepy after a turkey dinner."
Overscheduled kids often get fewer opportunities for vital free-play time. Too much stress can negatively affect your child's sleep habits, and unstructured playtime helps them find a good outlet for that extra energy while allowing them to wind down. Take a look at your child's schedule and talk with him about which activities he prefers, and then scale back.
4. Limit screen time, especially close to bedtime
Recent studies have shown that kids who play video games for an hour or more before bedtime experience disrupted sleep patterns. The solution? Strictly monitor screen time. Not only should you limit screen time during the day, experts at Healthline suggest turning off the games or TV two hours before going to bed.
5. Adjust your child's sleep environment
Just like adults, kids need the right environment when it's time for sleep. Soft sheets, a comfort object, white noise and a night light often do the trick.
It's best to start good sleep habits with your children when they are babies, but it's still possible to instill good "sleep hygiene" at any age. Make good rest for the whole family a priority, and you'll be amazed how much happier everyone is.
Snap Power is here to make night time easy for your little ones. Check out their new SnapPower Guidelight—the simple solution that provides light for a bedroom or a hallway at night but doesn't take up an electrical outlet.