Bedtime advice from a Swim Instructor & Naturopathic Doctor
Bedtime can be difficult for both the parents and the children! It can be a battle! Sleep is extremely important for a growing kid. John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital states that children who get enough sleep have improved learning, memory, attention and mental and physical health. Sleep builds brain cells, improves immunity, strengthens the nervous system and helps maintain a healthy weight. Experts recommended a child sleep 9-12 hours per night! My number one tip to improve sleep is to create a bedtime routine. This applies to both kids and their parents!
Here is a list of my favourite things to include in a bedtime routine:
- Pick a bedtime and do your best to stick to it. Consistently going to sleep at the same time every night makes it easier to fall asleep each night! Your body will learn when it is time to fall asleep. Going to bed at the same time every night also makes it easier to wake up at the same time each day. This may help improve the morning routine as well!
- Having a bath or taking a shower can be a great start to the bedtime routine. The hot water relaxes the body and the cooling down process signals our body that it is time for sleep. Ensure there is enough time for the body to cool down so about 60-90 minutes prior to bedtime is ideal.
- Using essential oils such as lavender can promote the sense of calm and relaxation. Adding a couple drops of essential oils to a diffuser in the child’s room or to a bath can contribute to feelings of calm surrounding bed time. Other essential oils to consider are rose, chamomile and frankincense.
- Incorporate reading, journaling, coloring or a kid’s guided meditation into the bed time routine. Insight Timer is my favourite app for children guided meditations! A bed time activity should avoid any screen time. The blue light emitted from the TV, computer and phone screens stops the release of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that increases at night to make you feel tired. Find an activity that the child finds enjoyable yet calming.
Experiment and find a routine that works well for your child and your family. Creating a consistent routine will make bedtime easier for everyone!
This post is not designed to diagnose or treat you, but instead to give you something to think about. Please book a consult with a naturopathic physician prior to changing, starting, or stopping medications or protocols.
Dr. Brittany Jeffries, ND
Helix Integrative Health. Kelowna, BC. 778-484-4358
Paradigm Naturopathic Medicine. Vernon, BC. 778-475-3822