Health

How to: 10 tips to facilitate bed time

Some children are all-star champions in finding excuses to avoid sleep time. Here are a few tips to make bedtime easier.

Preschool children need 11 to 12 hours of sleep every night. In elementary school, they need ten hours and teenagers should sleep 9 to 9.5 hours every night.

Disrupted sleep

The nights of uninterrupted sleep and refusal to go to bed are not over when your baby grows up. During the second and third years of life, the great learning disrupts your infant’s sleep: walking, talking and cleanliness. Your child is making tremendous progress in very little time. The efforts needed to achieve these new tasks have an impact on your child's sleep.

To help them fall asleep and sleep tight all night
  • Be consistent and firm about sleep time. Define a routine and respect it, as much as possible, every night. It helps trigger sleep mechanisms.
  • The sleep routine (pyjamas, teeth, pee, story…) cannot take three minutes. Don’t rush your child and enjoy those tender moments. However, do not engage in a never-ending ritual (with a blanket, a glass of water, kiss on the knees, feet and head…)
  • Eliminate caffeine (found in soft drinks) or limit its quantity in your child’s diet.
  • Avoid heavy meals before going to bed (meals should take place three hours before bedtime).
  • Your child should not go to bed hungry either. If they feel a little peckish, give them a snack.
  • Make sure that your child gets enough exercise during the day.
  • Restrict access to television, computer and video games before bedtime because they are very stimulating and cause wakefulness rather than relaxation and sleep.
  • Help your child relax and give them half an hour before going to bed.
  • Keep the room temperature around 18 °C (65 °F).
  • The room must be dark. Close the curtains and use a night-light if your child is afraid of the dark.
By Josée Descôteaux

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