Last updated on August 19th, 2016
Struggling to get the kids to bed? Here are 6 ways to make your children’s bedroom as sleep-friendly as possible
Aside from funny cat videos, the Internet adores clips of parents trying to put their little kids to bed and failing miserably. Children have packs of extra energy that can keep them running, jumping and moving around throughout the day. Their exuberance lasts even during bedtime. Understandably, kids’ high energy levels lead many parents to fear any underlying psychological disorder.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, toddlers aged one to two years must get 11 to 14 hours of sleep each night. Preschoolers aged three to five years should sleep 10 to 13 hours daily, while school-age kids between six and 13 years must get nine to 11 hours of sleep. Adolescents aged 14 to 17 years are advised to sleep eight to 10 hours per night.
Convincing your children to sleep early shouldn’t be an insurmountable feat. One technique of putting your little ones to bed early is tell them bedtime stories. Not only will your storytelling session give your kids something to look forward to at night, it will also nurture your relationship with each other.
Weave stories together in a bedroom designed to promote better sleeping habits. Explore these six sleep-friendly bedroom design ideas for your kids.
Darken your kids’ bedroom
Dr. Marc Weissbluth, a pediatrician and author of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, warns parents that sleep problems can make kids “less mentally alert, more inattentive, unable to concentrate, and easily distracted.” Meeting the recommended sleeping hours is not enough. It’s important that kids get uninterrupted shuteye throughout the night.
An ideal bedroom design for your kids is one that blocks disruptive elements. If your tots cannot sleep in total darkness, you can keep a lamp on or use a nightlight with a red bulb. Bright lights, including electronic gadgets, can trick the brain into thinking that it’s daytime, making it harder to fall asleep. You can also install blackout shades or curtains to block streetlights.
Unclutter with cool storage spaces
Studies show that young children who get more sleep have better social skills than their peers who sleep less. Healthy sleep is also regarded as the “right medicine” for numerous learning and behavioral problems.
Create a proper sleeping environment by putting away clutter in your child’s room. Regardless of the bedroom design, you should install sufficient storage for clothes, toys, and knickknacks. You can get creative by incorporating floating shelves and cabinets into the design theme.
Add supportive mattress and comfy pillows
One of the 10 myths about sleep that you should be aware of is “making up for lost sleep.” Some parents allow their kids to stay up late on weekends as reward for sleeping on time on weekdays. A study published in Science Translational Medicine reported that sleep deprivation can lead to deteriorating performance during the day.
Dr. Shelby Freedman Harris, director at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York, said: “Don’t think you can just bank up your sleep on the weekend, because it doesn’t work that way.” When it comes to your children, it’s advisable that you set a regular sleeping time. Help them easily get zzz’s even on weekends by turning their bedroom into a refuge. Give them supportive bed mattress, soft pillows and cozy blankets. Check out fruit-shaped pillows, full-length body pillows, and memory foams.
Create an ideal napping area
Daytime naps play an important role your child’s development. Naps help boost alertness, as well as learning and development in kids. Dr. Weissbluth noted that the stress hormone cortisol drops dramatically during a nap. “As a result, your toddler awakens happier, more alert and better prepared to learn about and explore his world,” the pediatrician said.
Decode kids’ sleeping hacks. Place a soft recliner or a sofa bed in their bedroom. You can go the extra mile by mounting a hammock to go with a jungle-themed or coastal-inspired interior design.
Create a relaxing atmosphere
Telling your young ones to have afternoon naps is as tough as putting them to bed. Child development specialist Claire Lerner remarked: “If your child is refusing to nap because she says she’s not sleepy, make sure she still gets some quiet time.”
In designing bedroom for your kids, it’s important to consider their needs and personalities. Some children take twice-a-day naps while others get several throughout the day. Help them get daytime rest by drowning out sounds via a white noise machine. These machines, also called “sound conditioners,” combine noise frequencies to mask outdoor sounds. You can also play nature sounds such as raindrops and ocean waves.
Classic add-ons for children’s tiny kingdom
Exploring tips on how to make your kids sleep early and healthy is your priority. While it is helpful to use free resources online, it’s still advisable to speak to a doctor or a sleep specialist. Some children suffering from sleep problems were diagnosed with serious diseases such as thyroid problems, blood diseases, and pain.
Make sure there is proper ventilation in your kids’ bedroom. Let in natural light and air during the day. You can also put hanging houseplants to help purify indoor air and install mosquito nets over their beds to protect them from mosquito-borne diseases. These design ideas are cost-efficient as they will grow with your kids. Also, lovely orchids in their balcony will never go out of style!
Harvard Medical School regards sleep, together with balanced diet and exercise, as one of the pillars of health. Adequate sleep everyday is non-negotiable regardless of your age. However, this need is even greater when it comes to growing children. Dr. Jody Mindell of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia said that since toddlers go through a “marathon” of intellectual and physical development, “sleep is the only way they can restore themselves and keep up the pace.”
Create an optimal sleeping environment for your kids. Discover the ideal bedroom layout based on their needs and interests. Explore bedroom paraphernalia that can help children easily fall asleep and stay asleep. Most importantly, consult your pediatrician if your child manifests symptoms of a sleeping disorder. People don’t outgrow sleep problems. These matters need to be addressed.
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