Children, dreams and sleep tips

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20161018_151345Since Badger suffered from night terrors when he was younger, I have been conscious of the quality of sleep my children get. I’ve always tried to make sure they go to bed happy, because I know that whatever is on their minds can impact on their dreams.

I suffered terrible recurring nightmares as a child, leaving me afraid of going to sleep. That’s something I would hate my children to have to experience and so I encourage them to talk about their dreams if they want to, or if they’ve woken in the night after a bad dream. A problem shared and all that!

On the flip side, dreams can do great things for kids too. They can help children to make sense of their world, or work through a problem. As parents, we like to think that our children will always talk to us about things that worry them, but sometimes they need a little time to think about things themselves.

Video provided by Adjustamatic, experts in beds for the elderly.

There are several ways to help a child get a good night’s sleep. If your little one is having trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, maybe try some of these tips:

1. Routine

It’s widely accepted that young children thrive on routine. Bath, bottle, book, bed worked well for us when the older boys were small and we are slowly introducing the same routine with the baby now.

2. Screen-free time before bed

Tablets, computers and TV screens promote wakefulness with the imitation daylight they emit and the stimulating content, resulting in busy little minds at bedtime. Not conducive to restful sleep!

3. Have a busy day

Keeping little people busy during the day contributes to restful sleep at night. Maybe go for a little walk after dinner and before bath time to help them wind down before bed.

4. Create the right environment

This is one that I could definitely improve on. Bedrooms clear of clutter and in total darkness are best for improved sleep, but that’s not always possible with the amount of ‘stuff’ kids have today. We also always have the landing light on all night too, but the boys are so used to that now that I couldn’t really change it. We do use a lavender pillow mist though which they love. I think it’s probably psychosomatic but if it makes them sleep better it’s good enough for me!

5. Address their fears

Monsters under the bed? Talk about it. Rather than simply telling them there is no such thing, take a look together or use a ‘monster spray’ (febreeze with a printed label will do!)

How do you encourage better sleep for your children? Share your tips in the comments below.

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