Mark the date in your diary -13th March is World Sleep Day 2020. But before you do, don’t get too excited – we cannot promise you that your little (or not so little) ones will get a good night’s sleep. We really wish we could – but there is something about a Friday the 13th that sometimes turns even the best sleepers into night-time horrors! What we at Duvet Advisor can offer you though is some helpful tips on sleep hygiene that may help your little one to get a good night’s sleep, and give you a little rest in the evenings.
What is sleep hygiene?
If you haven’t heard of sleep hygiene, and many haven’t, you are not alone. Essentially, sleep hygiene refers to the guidelines that you can put into place to help promote a good night sleep. Children need more sleep than adults, and the amount they need depends on their age. The earlier that you help your child to get into a good sleep routine, the better it can be for their long-term health. Once children start school, a good sleep schedule is essential to help them perform to the best of their ability in their lessons and on tests.
The 10 Commandments for Good Sleep Hygiene
- Stick to the same bedtime every night. For children up to the age of 12, this should be no later than 9 pm.
- Nap schedules should be age-appropriate.
- Create a consistent bedtime routine. This can be started very early on in your child’s life.
- Create a cool, dark and quiet environment in your child’s room.
- Try to help your child to learn to fall asleep on their own.
- Bright light at bedtime should be avoided; night lights should offer a dimmed source of light.
- Avoid boisterous exercise and heavy meals close to bedtime.
- No electronics, including TVs in the bedroom and limit their use before bedtime.
- Caffeine should be avoided at bedtime – remember it can be found in some fizzy drinks and chocolate.
- Children thrive on routine, so keep to a good daily schedule, including meals at regular times.
Creating the right sleep environment
When it comes to helping your child to sleep, there isn’t a parent out there who wouldn’t agree that the proper sleep environment is hugely important. Make sure you choose a good quality, supportive mattress for your child. Bedding is also of paramount importance. For children, you will probably want to select a pillow that is easy to wash! Children find it harder to regulate their temperature at night, which can make getting a restful night of sleep tricky, so do some research before you purchase a duvet. An all-season duvet, with the two parts that can be poppers together can be a good solution. The John Lewis Soft Touch Washable Cotbed Duvet is an excellent choice for when your child is ready to move from the Grobag Sleepy Stars to proper bedding, or if they are moving into a single bed the M&S Supersoft All Seasons duvet.
While we can’t promise instant success with the above tips, practicing a continuous bedtime routine should, over time, help your child sleep well, meaning you can get some well-deserved rest too!