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Breeding Healthy Sleepers

Creating a healthy bedtime routine is vital to our children’s well-being. A healthy bedtime routine benefits our children’s brain health, overall wellness, and assists in proper functioning in their day-to-day activities. I’m sure you have noticed a difference in your child’s mood, behavior, or performance when they do not get a good nights sleep or are not feeling well rested. I will provide you a guideline we utilize at Behaved Brain Wellness Center to establish a healthy sleep routine for our clients. We will look at establishing a structured bedtime routine, visual tools to assist with a bedtime schedule, as well as calming techniques to do when it is time to get settled down.

Yoga is my absolute favorite way to end the day and quiet my mind before going to sleep. Practicing yoga poses is also a great way to help kids settle down before bedtime. Between the breathing exercises a yoga practice offers and the concentration each pose requires, you and your kids will feel centered and at peace if you practice yoga before going to bed. Check out these twelve yoga poses that you and your child can make a part of your bedtime routine as a way to settle down and quiet the mind!  These poses will also help reset your central nervous system, allowing for total relaxation!

Visual tools to assist with a bedtime routine can be so helpful at creating structure and consistency! Here at Behaved Brain Wellness Center, we believe kids thrive when they are given the ability to have structure and consistency in their day-to-day lives. A visual chart and guideline will help children know what steps their bedtime routine consists of and will help them have a clear understanding of what comes next in the bedtime routine. To help create visual tools to assist with bedtime routines, check out our very own routine charts!

As I stated before, here at Behaved Brain Wellness Center, we believe kids thrive when they are given the ability to have structure and consistency in their day-to-day lives. Routines being predictable and consistent allow children to feel less stressed and allow them to feel organized. Check out this article for more reasons why routines are beneficial for families. There are loads of other ways to add routine into your life!

Besides having a consistent bedtime routine, the time your child goes to bed every night should also be consistent. You can decide what an appropriate bedtime is for your child depending on their age, what time they need to wake up by, and their individual needs.  The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) has published their recommended sleep durations based on age.

Other activities that you can add to your child’s bedtime routine include taking a bath, brushing teeth, reading a story, meditating, or listening to calming music. You want to make sure that the activities you and your child are engaging in before bedtime are calming and not energizing. For example, playing with toys or watching television can be too over-stimulating for your child and can lead them to become more active at a time when they should be winding down. Children should not have access to screens or any electronics for at least 1-2 hours before their bedtime routine begins. The blue light that is given off from electronics can disrupt our circadian rhythms and decrease our body’s natural ability to produce melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone our body naturally makes to assist with our sleep and wake cycles. If our melatonin production is disrupted, it can lead to sleep issues! Check out this article for more information on why you should monitor your child’s screen time before bed and the effects screen time before bed can have on your child and their sleep.

I hope by following these guidelines and creating and implementing a structured bedtime routine for your child, you will notice a positive change in your child’s mood, behavior, or performance when they get a good nights sleep and are feeling rested.  Establishing a structured bedtime routine will be so beneficial to your child’s brain health and overall well-being!

Stefanie Mastbeth, LAC, Yoga Therapist