WITH parents home-schooling their kids again due to the lockdown, it may mean the bedtime routine has been turned upside down in your house.
If you’re struggling to get your kids to sleep, experts have shared their top tips to help them drift off – as well as a calculator which works out when they should be asleep.
Sleep experts have come up with a calculator which lets parents know exactly when their child should be in bedCredit: Getty Images – Getty
The interactive tool is based on sleep cycles, as they revealed a four-year-old’s only lasts for 30 minutes.
Hillarys said: “For example, each cycle for a 4-year-old lasts around 30 minutes, so if you need them to wake up at 7:00am the next morning, bedtime is recommended at 5:46pm, 6:16pm, 6:46pm, 7:16pm or 7:46pm.”
They also warned that waking your child up mid-cycle can lead to tears and tantrums, which can be avoided if you put them to bed at the right time.
It is important to keep your kids in a regular weekday routine so to avoid confusion once lockdown rules are lifted
Hillarys said: “The Kids Sleep Calculator offers recommended suggestions for bedtimes based on when they are likely to be at the end or the beginning of a sleep cycle, and therefore much less tired and lethargic for a day of lockdown learning.”
Now armed with bespoke bedtimes for your little one, Lucy Askew, sleep expert at Hillarys, shared five tips to help kids get back into a routine, and back to sleep.
Her first bit of advice is to stick to your guns, and have a set bedtime and wake up time during the week.
Lucy said: “Whilst the temptation for lie-ins and wearing pyjamas all day is strong, it is important to keep your kids in a regular weekday routine so to avoid confusion once lockdown rules are lifted.
Hillarys shared their top tips to get kids to drift off from their sleep expert
“Sticking to home-based chores and rules in order to enjoy the weekends more and break up the monotony of the week.”
Banning technology at least an hour before bed is crucial, as it helps them relax, unwind and drift into a deep sleep.
Lucy said: “Excessive use to screen time, in the form of TV’s, smartphones, tablets or video games, before bed has been associated with kids getting less sleep, poorer quality sleep and even fatigue.”
She advised letting kids read or listen to music to try and switch their minds off it they’re struggling.
Lucy’s tips to get kids to sleep
- Have a bedtime/wake-up time and stick to it during weekdays
- Ban technology for at least an hour before bed
- Make sure they are getting a good, balanced diet
- Ensure their sleeping environment is cosy and quiet
Sleep and diet go hand in hand, and Lucy stressed how important it is to feed your kids healthy meals.
She noted: “Despite being at home more than ever before, many families have understandably grown weary of producing home cooked meals since the start of the pandemic, and have instead found comfort in ordering takeaways or stocking up on easy microwavable or frozen options to feed their kids throughout the day.”
While this is fine ‘in moderation’, eating a diet filled with fruits, vegetables, protein and rich in Vitamin B, like fish, poultry and eggs is crucial to regulate sleep cycles.
And finally, make sure their bedroom is cosy and inviting, and a room they’ll want to sleep in.
If you’re struggling with the decor, she said let your children have a say in how it’s decorated.
Lucy said: “Give them the opportunity to add some personal touches to their own bedroom by picking out a new duvet cover or fluffy blanket, and encourage them to spend their home-schooling hours sat at a desk or table rather than their bed so it’s not a place that’s associated with anything other than sleep and rest.”
She added fairy lights or a night light can be a great touch to give the room a ‘relaxing atmosphere’.
Plus here’s how your sleeping position reflects your personality – from social butterflies on their front to anxious people in a cocoon.