Children need to get a good amount of quality sleep to feel their best and optimise their learning, but it can be tricky to get them into the right sleep pattern.

Of course all children are different – some will love their kip whereas others might not seem to need it. There are things you can do though to help your child get quality sleep, whatever their personality. Read on for some tips from a nursery in Wandsworth on what you can do to improve your child’s sleep schedule.

Set the scene early

Begin your child’s wind-down routine at least an hour before bed. Turn off any electronics to prevent the light they emit from affecting your child’s sleep cycle, and focus on quiet, distraction-free activities like reading or having a nice soothing bath. Put in place a set bedtime routine that signals to your child it’s time to start thinking about sleep, including brushing their teeth, going to the toilet and getting in their pyjamas. Some children like having a specific routine and feel comforted by it, which helps them accept that it’s bedtime. 

Provide the right environment

Creating a sleep-friendly environment is really important – it should be dark, quiet and cool. Your child might not like it pitch black so a soft night light is fine. They may also need some form of white noise to drift off to, or calming music playing. Make sure it’s not too hot and there are no distractions in the room, like a tablet or TV. That way your child will learn that their bedroom is just for sleeping and relaxing in. 

Prioritise exercise and good nutrition

Being physically active during the daytime will help ensure your child is tired when it’s time to sleep. It’s best to avoid anything too physical right before bedtime though as this could actually have an energising effect exactly when you don’t want it! Getting regular exercise will help keep your child’s body and mind in good shape, as will eating a nutritious diet low in sugary or fatty foods.

Timing is also important when it comes to the link between food and sleep. Eating foods high in sugar before bed will make it harder for your child to drop off as they’ll feel wide awake. Similarly, it’s best to avoid a large meal right before bedtime as the body digesting it could get in the way of nodding off and staying asleep. 

Incorporating these tips will give your child the best chance of maintaining a good sleep schedule and feeling energised and motivated throughout the day.

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