Sleep hygiene is an important part of day to day life, and even if you haven’t heard of the term before, you likely already practice different forms of sleep hygiene. There are many different ways that you can practice sleep hygiene, from exercising to promote better sleep quality, to avoiding alcohol and caffeine before bed. However, the overall aim of sleep hygiene is to get a better quality of sleep and achieve full alertness during the daytime after a well-rested night. 

While taking care of your own sleep hygiene is relatively straight forward, it is important that as a parent you teach your children positive sleep hygiene and practice it together as a family. But learning positive sleep hygiene with your children doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult, and by making a few conscious changes and explaining the importance of sleep to your little ones, you will see a huge improvement in their quality of sleep. Here are some of the ways that you can learn positive sleep hygiene together as a family. 

Be Aware of Sleep Needs 

If your children complain about feeling tired, before you automatically put them down for a nap, it is important that you are aware of how much sleep they need depending on their age. Different aged children need different amounts of sleep. Therefore, if your child is under 12 months, they will need around 12 to 16 hours of sleep, including any nap time. It is important that you follow these guidelines as allowing your child to sleep too much or too little can affect their overall development, as well as their mood. You should make your child aware also of how important getting the right amount of sleep is. 

Be Aware of Any Sleeping Problems 

As part of learning and maintaining good sleep hygiene, it is important that you keep on top of any sleep problems that you or your children may have. For example, snoring or mouth breathing can severely disrupt sleep and can make it difficult to get rest. However, this sleep aid from Somnifix is simple yet effective and can help curb mouth-breathing, ensuring you get a good night’s sleep. 

Be Food Conscious 

You should be conscious of what and when your child is eating for their evening meal and make sure that it is isn’t too close to their bedtime. Eating a heavy meal before bed can cause a bad night’s sleep, so you should teach your child about appropriate mealtimes. This might mean that you will feed your children earlier in the evening, as they go to bed earlier, leaving you to enjoy your evening meal once your children are in bed. Some hot drinks, such as a glass of hot milk can be a great way to help your child settle down ready for bed. 

Exercise is Important 

Even though you should already be teaching your children on the importance of exercise and ensuring that they are engaging in regular physical activity, it is also a major aspect of sleep hygiene. If your children have been inactive throughout the day, they may find it difficult to fall asleep at night. But by encouraging your children to go outdoors and take part in exercise, even if it is just a brisk walk around the park, they could find getting to sleep at night much easier. 

Sleep hygiene is essential as getting enough sleep and feeling well-rested and ready for the day ahead is crucial to our overall health and wellbeing. Plus, don’t forget, a well-rested child is a much more well-behaved and happier child, so teaching your children about sleep hygiene could make your life easier too!

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Vicky Charles

Vicky is a single mother, writer and card reader.

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