Nightsleep. Building Routines And Winding Down
Did you have a quiet night last night with real “Adult Time” without disturbances? We hope that you did, for your sake and for your children.
We all know how important sleep is. Most of us also know that our children really need to sleep enough to be able to make it throughout the day.
Many children need more sleep than their parents think:
children under the age of 7-9 years old need between 11-13 hours of sleep, every night. A child who sleeps enough will actually spend 40% of his or her childhood asleep.
Watch our video on night sleep right here. It’s only a couple of minutes long.
Sleep is Vital to Growth And Health.
Children grow during sleep. A peptide hormone called “human growth hormone”, also known as somatropin, is released during the entire day and through i.e. physical exercise, but for small children it is especially released during the deep sleep phase. Therefore, if the child doesn’t get the right, rejuvenating sleep, it can actually affect the child’s growth.
The hormones that regulate appetite and hunger can also be strongly affected by lack of sleep; this can lead to a lack of appetite or even to overeating, and to having preferences for fat, sugar and other high-calorie options.
A shortage of sleep will also affect the general well being, the mood, concentrating skills and on top of that the fine and gross motor skills, which can lead to behavioral problems, and poor performance during the day.
Some things just aren’t debatable. Your child’s sleep is one of them, and if your child is going through a phase of not wanting to sleep or finding it difficult to find the peace and ‘let go’ when in bed, it can become a very frustrating circle of negative expectations and worrying.
Creating a “Winding Down” atmosphere and establishing good routines can help you and your child during those and all other nights.
Winding Down And Going To Sleep
Here are 7 tips and advice on creating an atmosphere that will hopefully benefit you and make it much easier for your child to wind down and eventually fall asleep:
1. Start early and turn off radio, tv, computers etc.
2. Make sure that you have really connected with your child during the afternoon and evening
3. Reduce family stress, loud conversations or discussions.
4. Lit a soy- or beeswax candle instead of electric lights in the child’s room when tucking in. The natural and dim light allows the child’s hormones to understand that it is night time
5. Keep the room cooled and make sure the air is fresh
6. Establish a consistent bedtime. Stick to it during holidays and weekends
7. Create routines and keep to them: washing/bathing, brushing teeth, putting on night clothes, walking to bed after saying goodnight to siblings/other parent, reading a not too long bedtime story, singing a little song. Kissing good night, and finally leaving the room full of confidence, love and believing that it can work.
Thank you for reading all the way. We are grateful that you are here.
We’d love to hear from you- tell us about your challenges, ask questions or share your successes.
We are here to listen, answer questions, and to encourage you on this life long journey of parenthood.
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Helle & Anna