As parents, we realise the importance of a good night’s sleep for our children. Infants need adequate sleep for their bodies and minds to grow and develop. Studies have shown school-aged children do better in school with adequate rest. And we all know the effort it takes to get our teens to cease their busy lives and get to bed; a lack of adequate sleep affects their mood. We can reduce or eliminate the struggle to help our children get the rest they need by creating a perfect sleep space for our children.
A clean, uncluttered space encourages sleep. Your child needs a bed and sleep area completely free of distractions. Many toys strewn around have the capacity to catch your child’s attention and delay the onset of sleep. Additionally, you want make sure your child can safely go to the restroom in the middle of the night if necessary.
Cute nursery lamps with moving figures are fun, but are not the best way to relax your infant. Older children need to eliminate electronic stimulation for at least 30 minutes before bedtime. You may even want to remove tempting hand-held games from their sleep area.
Your child’s sleep area needs to be quiet and peaceful. Although normal household noise will probably not disturb them, using white noise from a fan or a special tape designed with music or soft noises helps mask louder noises from traffic, as well as the movement and activity of other family members.
Make sure your child’s room is the right temperature for sleep. Children actually need a sleep space cooler than adults – between 18 to 21 degrees Celsius is ideal for most children. Many children sleep better under a ceiling fan or with a window slightly cracked to provide fresh, cool air.
Make sure bedding is clean, not too heavy, and warm enough for comfort. Layers work well in cold weather for your older child; if they get too hot, they can easily remove one or more covers. If your child has allergies, make sure bedding does not have contents that aggravate them. Having layers works well for older children. If your child becomes too warm, they can remove one or more easily.
In order to help your child get the rest they need, pay attention to lighting and the colours you use in their room. Too much light and very bright col or activates the mind and can delay or prevent sleep.
The amount of light in your child’s room is somewhat dependent upon individual preference. Studies have shown that the presence of light inhibits the release of the hormone melatonin associated with the onset of sleep. If possible, have the room completely dark. Use window shades or curtains to block out city lights or passing headlights. However, if your child is afraid of the dark, a nightlight may be necessary for them to feel safe and secure and relax enough to fall asleep.
Avoid bright, over-stimulating colours. Instead, choose calming colours, such as white, grey, or beige for walls. If you simply must use their favourite col or, tint white in the softest shade possible. In the daylight, the col or will be apparent.
The goal is to create a space that your child associates with sleep, free of distractions and comfortable. Taking into consideration your child’s age and individual preferences, you can create a perfect sleep space for your child.