For many sleep-deprived parents, making sure your little one gets enough sleep can be an exhausting uphill battle, with two-thirds of us reportedly getting less than seven hours rest a night in the UK alone.
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Getting a good night’s sleep increases your chances of a long and healthy life, improving your memory, lowering your blood pressure and helping you maintain a healthy weight. Scarily, there is increasing evidence that suggests children who sleep too little tend to eat more which sadly can be a major contributor to childhood obesity.
We got some advice from Matthew Currington at The Lighting Superstore to help whip your child’s (and your own) sleep into shape.
Here are his top tips to help everyone get a little extra shut-eye:
1) Turn on some sweet sounds
Though noise can be detrimental when searching for that perfect night’s sleep, studies show natural, calming sounds or ‘white noise’ can promote a state of relaxation that gently soothes your baby to sleep and is a crucial weapon when looking to ‘hit the hay’ yourself.
Whether it’s the hum of the washing machine or waves crashing on the shore, finding the right soothing sound can drown out any unwelcome background noise and encourage a better night’s sleep.
If you need a little extra help, look into some simple aids that will stop you fighting with your earphones all night long.
The Wazowsky portable bluetooth LED light speaker comes with Bluetooth technology, so your baby can listen to some of your favourite tranquil sounds as you settle down for the night.
2) Technology blackout
According to experts, excess screen time can play havoc with children’s developing sleeping patterns. It’s recommended that children between the ages of 2-5 should spend no more than an hour a day glued to their screens and older children aged 5-18, no more than two.
The bright glare of a screen emits a blue light that can affect sleep and unsettle our circadian rhythm (the body’s internal clock). Of course, in today’s parenting world an iPad can be a complete blessing but it might be worth issuing a technical blackout as bedtime approaches.
If you want your child to get the best night’s sleep possible, it’s important that parents turn off the distractions and wake up to the cost of a sleepless night.
3) Read it and sleep
Curling up with your little one at bedtime and reading a book can encourage a great night’s sleep for the both of you.
According to child psychologists, there are plenty of cognitive benefits for young people raised with bedtime stories, including above average literacy rates and a lifelong appreciation of reading.
A soothing source of reassurance for children, bedtime stories can help them feel safe and protected which, in turn, helps them to decompress and sleep more soundly.
Of course, you can only get these results by choosing your bedtime story wisely. Reading anything too exciting before bed might result in an over-excited little human racing around the house until the early hours – meaning no sleep for them and certainly none for you!
4) Something new, something blue
According to Sleep.org, people whose bedrooms are painted blue tend to sleep longer than those who opt for a different colour. This is because of specialised receptors in your eyes which are most sensitive to blue.
If a complete blue overhaul won’t work for your child, think about opting for discreet blue items like the Walina LED Children’s Table Lamp.
Alternatively, if blue is completely out the question, look at using other relaxing shades such as greys, silver and neutrals to encourage a peaceful slumber.
5) Enjoy a starry night
According to research, a night spent sleeping under the stars could help reset our internal body clock and allow even the most sleep-deprived to get some much-needed shut-eye.
Obviously, a night under the stars isn’t always possible and for those less keen on taking their kiddies camping, we suggest bringing the night sky to the comfort of their own bedroom.
Something such as a Kiana LED Ceiling Light (a starry opal diffuser which, when illuminated, resembles the sky at night) may be the perfect solution for those looking to recreate the natural starry magic for their children to enjoy.
We hope you found these tips useful and that you and yours catch some zzz's soon!