When you were pregnant, you had dreams of singing lullabies and rocking your babies easily into dreamland. They'd fall asleep with their tiny hands clasped together, the smell of lavender still fresh on their skin.
Then, you had kids and realized that bedtime isn't always quite so idyllic.
The good news? You're not alone. Research shows that more than 50% of children will have trouble sleeping at some point during their development.
Still, that doesn't mean you have to suffer through the tuck-ins. Today, we're sharing how to get kids to sleep with 10 simple and natural tricks.
Tired of waking up tired? Read on to reclaim the rest your whole family deserves.
1. Ditch the Screens
Do your children love watching evening cartoons? While escaping into a story can be a great way to ease some of the stress of the day, it's far less relaxing than it seems. In fact, the stimulation could play a major part in your child's restlessness.
Studies show that the light from a television screen, smart device, or computer monitor can interfere with our body's natural production of melatonin, which is naturally designed to ramp up in the evening.
At least two hours before bed, turn off all screens. Instead, engage in soothing, calming activities that can gear them up for a restful night, such as taking a warm bath or reading a short story.
2. Diffuse Calming Oils
Is your child's bedroom feeling a little chaotic lately? Try diffusing calming essential oils in the space to create a sense of peace. A few of the scents that experts recommend for the bedroom include:
A few drops of any of these oils into a diffuser full of water is a quick and easy way to help even the antsiest child relax and release any pent-up tension.
3. Add Magnesium Flakes to the Bath
Drawing a warm bath is an ideal way to soothe and unwind your children, especially after a busy day at school. In lieu of off-the-shelf bubble baths, which can be irritating to their skin, why not sprinkle in some all-natural magnesium flakes instead?
We offer flakes made of 100% pure Zechstein Magnesium, which is one of the purest forms you can buy. The properties of magnesium make it an excellent muscle relaxer, able to help ease the anxiety and irritability that young children often experience.
While stress tends to deplete our natural magnesium stores, incorporating it into our daily routine via flakes, gels, oils and bath soaks is a great way to restore them.
4. Transform Their Bedroom
Do your children have to walk over a mountain of toys to get to their bed? Once they're there, are their sheets scratchy, stuffed animals plentiful and blinds cracked?
There are a few quick steps you can take to help turn their bedroom into the oasis of their dreams without spending a ton of money. Use a sturdy toy box for storage, invest in soft sheets, and pare down the stuffed animals to a few that bring your child the most comfort. Then, add room-darkening shades or curtains to prevent moonlight or early-morning sunlight from urging them awake before it's time.
5. Create a Bedtime Routine
Whether they seem like it or not, children are creatures of habit. That said, an inconsistent bedtime routine can be enough to throw them off track and disrupt their sleep cycle.
While it might be difficult to stick to a minute-by-minute schedule every night of the week, try to make your after-dinner time as structured and similar as possible. Most of the time, this will include a bath, storytime, teeth brushing, and similar wind-down activities.
6. Keep Wake-Up Times Consistent
Speaking of consistency, do you let your kids wake up at different times during the week? While it can be tempting to let them sleep in on the weekends or over the summer, you could be setting yourself up for a long night as a parent.
Why? The effect from those extra few hours of sleep is akin to jet-lag in adults. With their internal clock thrown off-kilter, it can be difficult for them to feel tired later that night.
To the greatest extent possible, try to stick with the same alarm time throughout the year. Figure out how much sleep your child needs to function at top capacity, and work backward from there to determine their ideal bedtime.
7. Lower the Temperature
We're not suggesting to turn their bedroom into an icebox! Yet, lowering the thermostat by even one degree can help them achieve an optimal sleep cycle.
As they get ready for bed, your children's natural production of melatonin lowers their internal temperature just slightly. If their external temperature lowers accordingly, it can help boost those relaxing effects.
8. Try a Gentle Spray
Want a sweet addition to the magnesium bath flakes that your kids love? Continue the calming trend with our Zechstein Magnesium Oil Spray! This soothing spray contains 100% pure, natural and unrefined magnesium.
Applying it topically helps your children absorb the important benefits of this mineral through their skin. It's an ideal way to moisturize, prepare for sleep and encourage relaxation.
To make it as gentle as possible on their sensitive skin, add enough water to dilute it by 50% before applying, and stick to spraying it only on their feet. You can also dilute it with a little coconut oil.
9. Encourage Exercise During the Day
Want your tots to sleep better at night? Make sure they expend plenty of energy during the day! Even simple, light exercises such as walking outdoors, riding bikes or going on a nature hunt can help them wind down more quickly at night.
The only caveat? Get that movement in during the afternoon, not right before bedtime. Otherwise, they could be overstimulated, which can impact their sleep.
10. Skip Sugar and Caffeine
While sugary soft drinks aren't the healthiest beverage for kids anyway, you might allow your child the occasional soft drink, especially if he or she is a little older. If that's the case, make sure they avoid all drinks that contain high amounts of sugar at least three hours before bedtime.
If your child requests a drink before bed, stick to water or a warm glass of milk. You can also offer small, healthy snacks such as a small plate of crackers or a few pieces of fruit.
How to Get Kids to Sleep So You Can
It's no secret that restlessness in your child's bedroom extends to the rest of the house. When they don't sleep well, there's no way you can.
That's why we've made it our goal to create soothing bathtime goodies that the entire family can enjoy. If you're still wondering how to get kids to sleep, take a look at our online shop! When you incorporate our bath salts or magnesium spray into your evening routine, you help set the stage for a peaceful, deep night's sleep all the way down the hall.
Interested in learning more about our products? We'd love to connect. Contact us today with any questions.