Kids need lots of sleep to lead happy and healthy lives – but getting enough can be challenging, especially in this era of multimedia stimulation! There are many things that can be done to create a positive and calming bedtime routine – and stories can play a key role.
That’s why we created our new Short Stories, Big Dreams section. The two-page tales bring familiar and well-loved characters to life in comforting stories that should give children sweet dreams. Because getting enough sleep is a VERY important matter, here are some extra tips to get your little ones ready for bedtime (and bedtime stories!)
Get into a routine
It’s a fact that getting into a regular bedtime rhythm is the key to getting a good night sleep! Try to stick to a routine (even on weekends) – and soon everyone will be looking forward to it.
Set a time for having a bath, which can help kids to relax. (But make sure it’s not an overstimulating one with lots of toys and splashing!) Make some bubbles and help them to enjoy it in a calm way. Then dry them off and have them brush their teeth, change into their favourite pyjamas and get into bed.
Choose a story
Once they are in bed, a bedtime story can have a calming effect. You can read them one of their favourites – and we hope some tales from Storytime will feature on their list! Our new short stories are a new treat to look forward to every moth. Try to stay away from scary or action-packed adventures and keep the acting and questions to a minimum – instead use a soft tone and help them to drift away into dreamland.
How much sleep do they need?
Every child is different, but on average, experts state that a 5-year-old needs about 11 hours of sleep, while a 10-year-old can get by on 10 hours. Plan bedtime schedules accordingly. It’s important for their growth – and helps them to do better at school as well.
The sleeping environment
To ensure good-quality sleep, a child’s bedroom should be as dark and quiet as possible. Blackout curtains are good at blocking streetlight (or daylight during summer months). If they are afraid on the dark, put on a small night-light or leave the door open a bit to let in light from the hallway. Their favourite cuddly toy can provide comfort and security, and of course a snuggly duvet will always make them feel cosy.
A No-Screen Zone!
This one of the most difficult things to do, but perhaps the most important! Some kids spend long hours glued to their screens, but the light, sound and stimulation from games and videos can prevent them from getting to sleep easily.
When you create a new routine, try to limit the screen time bit by bit, and ideally stop any screen exposure an hour before bedtime! This will help them to wind down. Make sure their bedroom is a screen-free zone. To stop them giving in to temptation, have them charge their devices elsewhere in the home.
A cuddle and good-night kisses
After the bedtime story, make sure they are comfortably tucked in with their favourite toy or comfort blanket. Make sure to give them a cuddle and a goodnight kiss, followed by a reassuring “see you in the morning”. Chances are they will soon be fast asleep, dreaming of new adventures tomorrow.
Sweet dreams everyone! Share your favourite bedtime tips with us, and we promise to provide new bedtime reading every month!