Getting the kids off to sleep can be taxing at the best of times. As a mother of three beautiful but boisterous boys (I wouldn’t have them any other way), I’ve had my fair share of tears and tantrums before bedtime. However, over the years, I’ve discovered some successful sleep hacks that I’d be completely lost (and sleep deprived!) without. Here are my five favourites:
- A Few Drops of Lavender Oil
Using this essential oil before bed isn’t just an old wives tail. As you probably know, lavender oil is used heavily for aromatherapy so there’s no real surprise that it can help your kids drift off into the land of nod.
Add a few drops to your child’s pillow and let the soothing scent work its magic; your little one will be sleepy in no time! In the past, I’ve mixed the lavender, with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, and applied this to the bottom of my boys’ feet before bedtime; this works a treat! You can find a guide on essential oils at civilizedhealth.com for the best brands and uses for each type.
- Feed Them Bananas
Surprisingly, bananas do make you sleepy. While you won’t want to be feeding your child right before they hit the pillow, you can start the winding down process beforehand. Bananas and custard for dessert or banana on toast for supper will work wonders for calming your children down – plus they’re delicious!
How do bananas send us to sleep? Well, they contain magnesium and potassium, which help our bodies to produce the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin. So, the next time your child asks for an evening snack, you know what to offer them!
- Turn off Technology
Your child may struggle to part with their tablet at first, but once they get into a routine of turning it off a couple of hours before bed, they’ll soon be just as happy without it.
If your child’s bedtime is at 7pm, make sure you set a tablet curfew for 5pm. The glaring light from a tablet will further delay dreamland so it’s important that you keep technology out of sight in the run up to bedtime. Instead, read a story together; take it in turns to read a page each and their eyelids will soon become heavy – my eldest used to fall asleep within minutes of bedtime reading!
- Sing a Song
Choose a song wisely; The Wheels on the Bus is hardly going to calm your child before bed. Opt for a soothing song that you both love; my personal favourite is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. All of my boys went out like a light soon after bath time and our rendition of this lovely lullaby.
- A Comfortable Mattress
Your child isn’t going to want to go to bed if they’re not sleeping well at night. Invest in a good mattress, and a novelty bed frame to boot, and bedtime will become a pastime your little one looks forward to. My kids loved sharing a room, mainly because of the bunk beds!
When shopping for shopping for kids mattresses, ensure you look for maximum support to ensure that the spine is straight throughout the night. This will lead to a comfortable night’s sleep and, of course, if your child is sleeping on a mattress in a bunk bed or cabin bed, they’ll love climbing up to bed.
Now you know how to get the kids sleeping easier and better, you’ll be in for some well-deserved shut eye too! You’re welcome!
About the Author
Joy Richards is the sleep specialist at online bed and mattress retailer Happy Beds. For more of Joy’s tips and tricks regarding sleep visit The Comfort Zone or, alternatively, browse the wide range of kids mattresses and make a difference to your child’s quality of sleep.
** Guest post **