I have a question for you; do you ever feel like bedtime is like a battle? Like you need to don on full body armor to go into this battle to get your kids in bed? I can tell you, we have three boys ranging in age from 1-10, and it seems like a battle for us every night.

While this may be normal, did you know there are things that you can do to make that easier? So, I want to share with you six things that might completely change your bedtime routine and experience. #5 is probably one of the most important ones.

Getting our kids to bed is important. We all know that our kids need sleep. We all know that they need rest because their bodies are growing, especially when they are really little. But how to get them there, especially when they get to the point where they are like fighting and struggling because they are afraid they might miss something. There are actually a lot of things that you can do to really help with that, and get them ready for bed that go beyond the normal bedtime routine like brushing your teeth, taking a bath, or changing into pajamas.

#1: This one may be a little bit of a no-brainer for some: give them a specific bedtime. Personally, I don’t care what the bedtime is. For my kids, my 10 and 4 year old go to bed at 8pm. It doesn’t really matter how it works as long as it is consistent, because then their body gets into the natural circadian rhythm. It creates the natural rhythm where it expects to get the same amount of sleep at about the same time every day, which helps with producing the hormones that will help them get tired and go to sleep.

#2: Make sure they have movement earlier in the day. Doing a lot movement, especially rough play, right before bed winds them up because it releases endorphins and adrenaline, which inhibits the production of melatonin.

#3: Build a little bit of a cave. What that means is to have a room that is conducive for sleeping. This can certainly be a bit of a challenge for some. I know in our home, we have our two older boys in the same bedroom. They have one bunk bed for them to sleep, and they have another bunk bed that creates their play space because we don’t have a lot of room for them to be elsewhere. The point is to minimize that as much as you can, and create a space that is conducive for sleeping.

#4: Keep the bedroom for sleeping. I know it is a challenge for many parents. How many of us tell our kids to go to their room and play? I know I was making dinner for my kids last night, and I did it, I sent them to their room to play while I was cooking. What happens when we do that is the mind recognizes the space as a place to play and be active as opposed to recognizing it as the place we go to sleep. So create that sacred space as much as you can.

#5: Provide time to unwind, especially from screen time. How many of us, I know we’ve done it, it’s the tablet or the TV or whatever the screen is, but it’s right up until bedtime. The kids are reading or playing games or whatever, and it’s really convenient for us as parents while we are working on other things that we need to. But what we know, what studies have shown, is that there is a blue light that is emitted from these screens. That blue light inhibits the production of melatonin, and can make it much more difficult for your kids to fall asleep. So what we’re doing when we’re on our screens right up until we go to bed is preventing the natural circadian rhythm from kicking in, and preventing the hormones from being released that will help with winding down and slowing down and getting ready for bed. So it’s really important to take that break from screen time.

#6: It is important for the kids to sleep on their own. Studies have shown that when you sleep with something in your bed with you, you’re not going to get as restful as sleep as you could. As I explored this in my family, one of the things that we have done is we send out dog to bed with the kids. Now our oldest son sleeps on the top bunk, so he doesn’t have to worry about it. But my 4 year old, who it is probably really critical that he is getting the best sleep possible, how much is that dog disturbing his sleep? So that’s part of it, making sure that the environment is conducive for sleep. So having an animal in bed with you, or having a child in bed with you is disruptive to both of you. So you just want to be really careful how often you let that kind of disruption happen, because it can build up to sleep deprivation.

I hope that was helpful. I would love to share with you some more. There was one thing I didn’t share, which is kind of the secret sauce we use here in our home to help our kids sleep better. So if you want to hear a little bit about the secret sauce I have, just complete the form below, I would love to share it with you.


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