Here are 10 tips to get the kids to sleep at night.
1. Create a Bedtime Rhythm.
Life is filled with rhythms. There are rhythms within us and around us. Place your hand on your heart. A rhythm is a steady pattern of movement, just like our heartbeat (an internal rhythm). Or, the innate rhythms within us that dictate sleep cycles. Externally, we have the rhythmical nature of the seasons. Or for example, day and night. Even as adults, the repetition of these rhythms bring comfort through a sense of familiarity and connectedness. This is particularly true for children.
Rhythms are like ‘pressure relief valves.’ (Shout out to the build-hers out there!) A Bedtime Rhythm helps nurture a sense of security and predictability before bed. In the words of Mozart, ‘the best way to learn is through the powerful force of rhythm.’
The below is a general guide to our Bedtime Rhythm:
6.15pm Bath, massage and change into pyjamas.
6.40pm Brush teeth and potty.
7.00pm Storytelling, recap of the day, sing a relaxing song and/or read books in the bedroom. This is followed by prayer. I still say the same prayer my late grandmother taught me as a child, every single night. Hand on heart, I never miss it. It anchors me before bedtime. I continue to say this same prayer to my son.
Prior to our Bedtime Rhythm, we have a shared meal (dinner) as a family. This strengthens our bond and serves as an anchor before our Bedtime Rhythm.
Remember, sometimes it is inevitable that certain duties arise therefore changing the time for bed. But if you can still stick to your Bedtime Rhythm, then that will help create a sense of calm. Also, try not to frantically rush through the Bedtime Rhythm as it can create panic.
Seedlings Baby Wash and Shampoo
2. Set up prompts to wind down.
I diffuse Young Living Lavender essential oil throughout the living area and bedrooms. Lavender is an adaptogen and is known worldwide for its soothing properties. Young Living also provide a beautiful blend called Gentle Baby. Please be conscious of the fact that not all essential oils are of the same quality.
3. Simplify and filter out the adult world prior to bedtime.
For example, leave work conversations for another suitable time. Simplify the environment and set the tone through your words and actions. As Plato stated ‘beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity.’
4. Turn off electronics before bedtime.
This includes no television and technological devices. This is especially in order to avoid blue light. See article on the relationship between wellbeing and lighting.
Reduce electromagnetic frequency exposure. If you can, turn off the wifi router. You will need the whole family unit in agreeance with this.
5. Create an ideal sleeping environment.
This includes a dark room and a suitable room temperature.
6. Ensure for some physical activity during the day.
If you can, opt to play outdoors! Check out my other article on how to build your very own Mud Kitchen.
And there we have 6 out of my 10 tips to get the kids to sleep at night. Hold on tight, stay awake – you’re almost done!
7. Cut down sugar prior to bedtime.
This includes sweets and chocolate. I guess it’s best not to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory before bedtime! Save it for another time!
8. Engage in relaxing activities with the kids prior to your Bedtime Rhythm.
Such as make a puzzle or some Lavender playdough.
9. Model what you want your children to do.
For example, if your children see you on the phone, then it may not be a clear signal to start winding down.
10. Be sure to get out in nature and see natural light during the day.
This helps with our circadian rhythm, sleep quality and a decreased sleep-onset latency. I have gone into greater detail on this here. I highly recommend you give it a read!
And there we have it… 10 tips to get the kids to sleep at night!
Take it easy and remember…
‘All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.’
Bedtime wishes to you!