Here are some simple tips we think can make all the difference at bed time every day. Taken together they can support a more regular bedtime routine.
Easy to follow, the secret is being consistant.
Make sure that the child’s room is quiet and dark. Curtains with blackout lining or a black out blind will help make the room darker
Turn off TV’s and electrical items. If very distracting think about removing them from the room or putting away at night
Make sure toys are hidden, covered or tidied away
Try to wake the child at a regular time each morning so that they keep to their circadian rhythm
Make sure that the bedtime for the child is age appropriate
Visual timetables can help children with special needs understand the routine by showing what is going to happen next
Keep room temperature to a comfortable level. Ideally the temperature should be between 16-20 degrees Celsius. A room thermometer will help to ensure that this can be monitored.
Keep noise in the house to a minimum. Loud TV’s and / or music from other rooms can be distracting
Make sure that the child does not go to bed hungry. A biscuit or small snack shortly before bedtime may be useful
Avoid cola drinks, chocolate, tea and coffee before bedtime as these will contain additives and caffeine which prevent the onset of sleep. Try warm milk instead
Help the child learn to fall asleep alone in their bed without the need for an adult to be present
Avoid activities which stimulate in the hour leading up to bedtime such as computer games or running and chasing. Try to encourage quieter activities such as colouring or jigsaws
Do not let your child have long naps in the late afternoon. If the child needs to take a nap try to schedule it for earlier in the afternoon