Five reasons a bedtime routine is good for your child
If you’re looking to improve your child’s sleep and sleep habits, a bedtime (or night time) routine is a good first step. Chances are you’ve heard this before. But, just in case you thought the hype around a good bedtime routine was just that, hype. Here are five valid reasons to make sure you actually adopt one.
1 A bedtime routine adds predictability into your child’s day. This predictability helps a child feel safe and secure. This really is important at a time they’re continuously experiencing and learning so many new things. Your child’s brain is like a super sponge, taking in new experiences daily. And this can sometimes get a bit overwhelming. A good bedtime routine lets the brain wind down and relax because it can stop taking in new information and just chill for a bit. It comes to learn the routine and doesn’t need to be on high alert for new experiences anymore.
2 The time spent together helps nurture your relationship. Time before bed should be fun and relaxing, and it’s a great time for you to be one-on-one with your child without the other billion distractions in your day. Sharing that bedtime story really can become a special time for the two of you. Especially if you read it to them in character voices!
3 It helps set your child’s internal body clock. We all have a circadian rhythm, a 24-hour biological clock that tell us when to go to sleep, and when to wake up. The bedtime routine helps set this clock. Think of it like setting your alarm clock for sleep; it lets your child’s body know that it’s time to drift off peacefully for the long night sleep now.
4 It is an integral first step in establishing healthy sleep habits. Yes, it’s true. It’s been demonstrated that children with good bedtime routines are more likely to fall asleep quickly and sleep more soundly. Likely because of all the things mentioned above. It’s actually a very powerful thing to help sleep come more easily. Without it, our body can sometimes get a bit out of whack (which is not healthy).
5 Your child is more likely to relax during stressful stages of development, like separation anxiety. A good bedtime routine promotes the feeling of safety and security. This takes us back to points 1 and 2. It’s the predictability, and often the time spent together during the bedtime routine, that helps calm a child during these developmental stages. It makes them feel safe. The fact that there is at least one stable thing in your child’s day can make all the difference to their resilience.
So there you have, it five reasons a bedtime routine is good for your child. Do you have one in place for your child?
And if you’re after more advice on healthy sleep habits, download my free getting started guide. Or if you’d like some help solving a sleep issue in your family, book in for a free initial phone call with me HERE.