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10 Tips that Help Kids Prepare for a Good Night’s Sleep

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Children need sleep to grow, develop, learn and remember. Many common sleep problems in children and adolescents can be avoided by making sleep a priority for the whole family.  Our sleep experts share their top 10 tips for how to help children get in to a healthy sleep routine and get a good night’s sleep.

Boy sleeping soundly - relaxing environment

Create a Relaxing and Comfortable Sleep Environment

Keep the bedroom dark and cool to help your child relax and fall asleep.

Mother and daughter reading before bed

Have a Consistent Bedtime Routine

Family brushing teeth as a routine

Maintain a Consistent Bed Time and Wake Time Every Day.

Go to bed and wake up around the same time each day, even on weekends and vacations, will train the body to go to fall asleep and wake up easily.

Child looking at a phone screen before bed

Keep Technology Out of the Bedroom

Ban TVs, cell phones, tablets, and computers from bedrooms. Create a central charging station away from bedrooms for electronic devices so they won’t interfere with sleep.

Family enjoying breakfast together

End Caffeine Consumption at Lunch

Caffeinated beverages are not recommended for children. Consume these drinks before lunch to prevent difficulty falling asleep.

Child sleeping soundly

No Naps Close to Bedtime.

Allow children to nap based on age and developmental needs only. Avoid long and frequent naps, and naps that end too close to bedtime.

Family snuggling in bed together

Be Firm and Consistent with Delay Tactics

Let a child know that bedtime means exactly that. If parents consistently set limits, children will be less likely to protest or delay at bedtime.

Child stretching in front of sunlit window

Enjoy the Morning Sunshine

Open curtains in the morning and spend time outside every day.  Morning sunshine and bright light will make it easier to wake up and stay on a consistent sleep schedule.

Pediatrician explaining prescription to child and parent

Watch Medicines that can Affect Sleep

Read medicine labels as some can cause excessive sleepiness or insomnia. Ask your doctor which medicines to avoid if your child is having sleep problems.

Parents sleeping soundly due to healthy sleep behaviors

Make Sleep a Priority for Every Family Member

Children are more likely to develop good sleep habits if their parents follow healthy sleep behaviors.

This information has been approved by Lisa J. Meltzer, PhD (February 2017).