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6 Ways To Make Bedtime Routines More Special So Kids Fall Asleep FasterEnd bedtime battles with these hacks!by Kitty Elicay .
Children benefit a lot from a proper night’s sleep. This includes better attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life, and mental and physical health, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AAM).
Your body also does very important work while you sleep. It’s when the body releases the human growth hormone, or somatotropin, which stimulates cell reproduction in the brain, organs, muscles, and bones. It also promotes cell repair — where the body heals and produces cell that fight off sickness.
The World Health Organization recommends at least 10 to 13 hours of good sleep for children ages 3 to 4 years old. But moms of preschoolers know that putting the kids to bed can be a struggle, which is why it’s important to establish a bedtime routine that can help them fall asleep faster.
Bedtime routine ideas
A bedtime routine should have more than one activity and start with the most energetic progressing to the most calming, said Dr. Agnes Tirona-Remulla, head of the Sleep Lab at Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa. Here are some ways to make bedtime extra special so your child looks forward to winding down at the end of each day.
Encourage kids to tidy up the room
Decluttering is a relaxing activity that not only lets your children calm down; it also helps them learn to be more responsible of their belongings. Assist them in putting back toys in their proper places and try to do it at the same time every night so that it can serve as the start of their bedtime routine.
Run a quick bath
Whether it’s a quick shower or sponge bath, the warm water can soothe and calm their body down and help them fall asleep faster. Let them brush their teeth afterward so they know it’s something they need to do every night before going to bed.
Avoid screen time before bed
“The hour before bed should be quiet time. Do not expose them to anything stimulating, including television and gadgets,” advises Dr. Jonalyn Ang, a pediatric neurologist and a sleep specialist at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, using gadgets before bedtime has serious adverse effects in kids, including trouble sleeping, poor quality of sleep, and experiencing excessive sleepiness during the day.
Read a book with them
It is never too late to read a book with your child. “Hanggang seven years old po binabasahan ko ‘yung mga anak ko,” shares Vanessa Bicomong, director of the Learning Library. (Read the benefits of reading to and with your child here.)
This is also a great way to start preparing them for bed, especially if they’re still feeling energetic. Try this hack recommended by Offspring: put together a story based on your child’s day — it will get his attention faster and he’ll be eager to hear more!
Prep the room for sleeping
According to Dr. Tirona-Remulla, your child’s sleeping environment should be quiet and relaxing. Turn down the lights, have the room at a comfortable temperature, and keep toys off the bed.
“In our house, this is the time when the lavender-infused diffuser with dim light comes on. Some children need it to be perfectly quiet, while others ask for soft music or Mama’s singing, and some ask for sleep sounds, whether it’s a soundtrack of the rainforest or the soft hum of an airplane,” shares Thumby Server-Veloso, who heads the preschool Toddlers Unlimited.
Talk and cuddle
Sometimes, all your child needs to fall asleep faster is to feel your warmth beside them. Take a few minutes to sit down and talk with them. Recall what happened during the day, and don’t forget to shower them with love and cuddles!
These types of conversations not only boosts your child’s self-esteem, it also helps them wind down and look forward to the next day.
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