We all want our kids to get a fantastic night’s sleep, but there are countless factors that affect it, and sometimes it can seem to be entirely down to chance. Ensuring your child has a bedroom which is conducive to sleep is one of the best ways to guarantee it, along with a sound bedtime routine and a good daily rhythm. If you’re having trouble getting your little one off to the land of nod, or they’re struggling to stay there through the night, give some of these changes a go.
Keep the colours neutral
People associate children with bright colours, usually in the primary shades, but those colours tend to be very energising, and not in any way conducive to relaxation. Rather than painting the walls bright reds and blues, try to keep them neutral, and use accessories to bring the fun colours into the room. Of course, the lights are off while your little one sleeps, but the wind-down time before they nod off is severely impacted by the external stimuli in the room, so keeping colours muted will help not to overstimulate them before bed.
Banish the electronics
Many experts recommend turning off all electronic equipment for two hours before bedtime in order to allow the brain to properly wind down. Did you know, however, that it’s becoming common to recommend having no electronics in the bedroom at all? Even the waves produced by a baby monitor can be disrupting to sleep. So if there are unnecessary electronics in the room currently, try removing them to see an improvement. Any vital pieces of equipment should be at least a metre from the bed to minimise disruption.
Maintain the temperature
A bedroom which is too hot or too cold will make it difficult to sleep. Studies show that between 18 and 19 degrees celsius is the perfect sleeping temperature. A good quality heating system with an effective column radiator and a sensitive thermostat will allow you to maintain the correct temperature accurately so that sleep comes easily. Try to avoid having the window open if possible. The noise can be disturbing, and if the temperature drops overnight the bedroom could become far too cold for sleeping.
Try to minimise disturbances
Noise and light are the two most likely things to wake children up, other than nightmares perhaps. Minimising these disturbances allows your child to sleep soundly throughout the night. Blackout blinds are the best place to start, as light from vehicles and street lamps can cause difficulty sleeping. While many children struggle to sleep in the dark due to fears, having a bedroom light on – even the smallest nightlight – could actually be reducing their quality of sleep. The best alternative is to keep a landing light on as they doze off, and turn it off once they’re asleep to guarantee a good night’s sleep.
Finally, kids and their overactive imaginations are amazing at dreaming up all sorts of monsters and ghouls which live under their bed or in their wardrobe. Rather than ignoring these fears, face them head on with the inclusion of a stuffed animal to stand sentry, or a fun ritual to scare off the monsters can really put your little one at ease, and help them to get a great night’s sleep.