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How to Wind Down Your Kids for Bedtime

by Pam Silvia

At Mattress Land, we know good sleep starts with a quality mattress. With an array of impressive features, including gel memory foam, top-notch body contour and cool-to-touch comfort, our mattress selection is bound to have something for everyone—including your children.

In addition to making sure your kiddo has the right mattress to support their respective height-weight distribution, there are other ways to enable them to get a good night’s sleep. As we all know, adequate sleep is instrumental for academic performance, as well as physical and mental health. So, aside from the obvious “no feeding the Gremlins after midnight” adage applied toward children and sugar intake, here are 4 guidelines for winding down your hyperactive bundles of joy before it’s “lights out.”

1. Enforce a no-screens policy

These days, a child’s eyes glued to a screen is about as commonplace as a Toyota Camry on the freeway, so this rule might be met with some resistance. But it’s important to rein in electronics use before bedtime—it turns out that one of the most common factors inhibiting a child’s sleep is time spent looking at a bright TV, tablet or phone screen within 2 hours of saying “good night.” This is because the luminous glow of these devices’ screens can impact the brain’s production of melatonin, which is a hormone that regulates our sleep cycle.

For the sake of bettering your child’s quality of sleep, put the devices away once it’s 1–2 hours before bed.

2. Customize a nighttime routine

Consistency is the name of the game when it comes to forming healthy habits, which is why we recommend establishing a nighttime routine to propel your child toward deeper, faster slumber. Ritualistic activities such as getting their PJs on, brushing their teeth, reading a short story and saying a bedside prayer can help their bodies and minds switch to bedtime mode. And, in addition to leading by example, these interactive behaviors can help forge a closer bond between you and your child.

3. Cultivate a calming atmosphere in their bedroom

Zero light + zero noise = zero distractions. It’s about that simple when it comes to this tip. Studies suggest that optimal sleep is attained when we sleep in a cool-temperature room that is dark and silent—and this seems to be the case across all ages.

Also, because every child is different, further steps may need to be taken to accommodate their unique circadian rhythms and sensitivities. This could mean setting up an essential oil diffuser or humidifier, investing in a white noise machine or tucking your child in with a weighted duvet. Whatever the case, we recommend converting your child’s bedroom for it to be their nighttime nirvana.

4. Set a consistent bedtime

To further condition your child’s awareness and energy levels, it is important to enforce a set bedtime. Don’t let your little one decide when they should go to bed—stand firm in making this call, and take the necessary steps to make sure it is consistently followed. It is said that preschool-age children require 11–12 hours of sleep and that elementary school students need at least 10. And yes, for the most part, we suggest sticking with a strict bedtime on weekends and holidays, too.

Second verse: same as the first! Stop by Mattress Land today to put our in-store BedFIT technology to the test. You’ll receive a comprehensive sleeper profile that pairs your child with a variety of name-brand, certified mattresses that will comfortably support them as they drift off to Dreamland.