Sleep constitutes approximately one-third of our lives. It recharges our batteries and restores our energy. Sleep gives our bodies and mind a chance to recover, grow, and rebalance. In prior blog posts, we have written about how many hours of sleep children and teenagers need and shared strategies on helping your child sleep better. In this article, we present 11 ideas on designing a sleep-friendly bedroom for your child.
Creating a sleep-friendly bedroom can make bedtime routines easier, help us fall asleep faster and encourage deeper, more restorative sleep. Be creative. Focus on relaxation and peacefulness. Follow these eleven suggestions and design a sleep oasis for your child.
Organize and arrange good storage in your child’s bedroom. Toys, homework and clothing scattered around the room can be distracting and prevent a soothing bedtime routine. Use space under the bed wisely. Organize dresser drawers, bookcases and closets. Keep stuffed animals together in a basket or fillable beanbag chair. Keep loose Lego pieces in boxes or crates.
Decorate for relaxation. Simple is better. Choose calming colors such as blue, green or neutrals.
3. Create a Giggle and Relaxation Zone
Create a giggle and relaxation zone by adding a sensory bed sheet to your child’s bed. It is a stretchy, silky sheet that wraps around the mattress. It moves and stretches with your child when she first crawls in bed. It’s a great way to work out extra energy or wiggles. As she relaxes, it provides deep pressure therapy and feels like a cozy hug all night long.
4. Eliminate Electronics
Keep all electronics out of the bedroom. I-pads, computer monitors, TV screens and phones all emit blue light which interferes with melatonin production, a hormone that promotes sleep. Light exposure at bedtime is a natural suppressor of melatonin and can cause difficulty falling asleep. Set up a charging station in another part of the house and keep all electronics organized there to reduce temptation.
5. Create a Cocoon Effect
Darkness helps us sleep better. Install blackout curtains or shades to block unwanted light during the evenings. If your little one is afraid of the dark, a small, mild night light can provide just the comfort she needs.
6. Gentle Lighting is Key
Dim overhead lights and use a small low wattage reading light to help your child relax and prepare for sleep. Bright lights before bed make it harder for children to unwind.
7. Limit Noise
Noises from inside the house such as kitchen sounds, the television or living room conversations can be disruptive. Sounds from outside the house such as noisy neighbors, cars driving by or bad weather can also make it hard for your child to fall asleep. A fan or white noise sound machine can block out disturbances from inside and outside your home and allow for better, deeper sleep. If you are looking for a high quality, reliable white noise maker, we recommend Snooz.
8. Use Deep Pressure Therapy
Research suggests that weighted products provide deep pressure therapy and help children relax and sleep better. A weighted blanket or a weighted stuffed animal like the Huggaroo Lamb (pictured below) can be a comforting cozy item for your child to snuggle up with at night.
9. Clean and Eliminate the Clutter
Create a peaceful oasis. Clean, dust, sweep, and vacuum regularly. Promote better breathing and relaxation with a fresh, clean bedroom.
10. Keep the Bedroom Cool
A bedroom temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal (the recommended range is between 60 and 67 degrees). If the bedroom is too warm, it can create a stimulating effect and make falling asleep a challenge. If it's too cold, it may take you longer to fall asleep and your body may alter its cardiac autonomic response.
11. Get Rid of the Clock
If your child worries about not being able to fall asleep and is constantly checking the clock, remove the clock from your child's bedroom. Eliminating this source of stress and anxiety may help your child relax and fall asleep.