Too many kids don’t get enough sleep, and it shows in their health. Risk of anxiety, illness, and fatigue spikes with every half hour of sleep missed, which can mentally and physically exhaust a kid. There are a lot of ways, however, that you can help make sure your children are getting the sleep their growing bodies need.
A healthy diet and regular exercise are crucial in maintaining a healthy sleeping pattern for kids, but their bedroom environment can also play a large role. Here are some tips for designing a kid’s bedroom that supports peaceful, restorative sleep.
Make it dark and quiet
The perfect sleeping environment is dark, cool and noise-free. Depending on where you live, some of these characteristics can be difficult to attain, but outfitting your child’s room with dark-colored curtains and soft furniture can keep a lot of outside light and sound out of the room. You could also try using a fan to keep the room cool and drown out any noisy neighbors or traffic sounds. If your child needs a nightlight to fall asleep, however, try to stick to a red-toned one so the light will have the least effect on their sleep.
Build a reading nook
Along with the idea of a soothing lullaby and nightly prayer, reading before bed can create a pattern of nighttime relaxation that improves your child’s sleep. Set up a bookcase or two in the corner of their room, furthest from the bed, with a comfy chair or bean bag and a colorful rug. This way, they’ll feel like they have their own space to choose a book and de-stress before sleep, but they can leave the stimulation of reading behind once they get into bed.
Ditch the alarm clock
Alarm clocks can make bedtime and wakeups pretty stressful,jerking your kid out of deep sleep and leaving them fatigued all day. Instead, wake them up slowly and more naturally with a wake up light. The slow transition to wakefulness that the light provides will allow your child’s brain to wake up when it’s in a less restful state, and ensure that their high-quality sleep isn’t interrupted.
Update the mattress
Most mattresses have been passed down from family member to family member and can get lumpy and uncomfortable quickly. You might want to consider getting your children new mattresses so discomfort doesn’t interrupt their healthy sleep. Try one that’s made of foam so their bedding will last longer and provide them with a cozier night’s sleep. You might want to also consider swapping out their pillows and sheets to keep their bed healthy and dust-mite free.
Give them security
Do any of your children wake you up in the middle of the night because they had a nightmare? One of the most common reasons children struggle to stay asleep is the anxiety they feel over being alone in the dark. Quell these fears and keep them asleep with security items like stuffed animals, a blankie, bed canopy, or an item of your clothing. It will help them cope with being alone and relax enough to fall, and stay, asleep.
Decorate in their vision
One of the most important things you can do in your child’s bedroom is decorating it with the things they love. Use their favorite colors to guide your design and the latest TV show or video game obsession to help you decorate the room. A carpet, pillowcase, or poster that shows off your kid’s passion not only shows your commitment to their interests, but it also makes their bedroom unique to them. This will help set their bedroom apart as a personal space for them to unwind and be comfortable, helping them feel safe enough to fall asleep.
Take these tips to guide you in the design process of your child’s room but be sure to keep your kid involved! After all, this is their room, and you’ll want to make sure it feels like their own space. Use this as an opportunity to learn more about your child’s interests and help set them up for a healthier lifestyle!