Using Rituals for Healthy Sleeping and Waking

Thursday - May 15, 2014

Healthy sleeping habits set a framework for greater focus, greater performance, and an overall happier lifestyle.

 

Helping your children develop healthy sleeping habits can be a challenge. Younger children won’t understand the significance of sleeping fully and regularly, and may resist you if you necessitate certain bedtimes or wake times.

Strict timing schedules may not be the ideal solution to helping your child sleep better. Times are somewhat arbitrary so long as your child gets to sleep 8-10 hours a night without any major alterations in their schedule (such as going to bed at 1am instead of 10pm). Instead, consider using appropriately timed rituals to help guide your child into a regular sleeping pattern.

For example, establish a routine set of habits that must be done before bedtime. You could turn off all electronic devices, then brush teeth, then read a story, then get to bed. Your exact ritual will, of course, differ based on you and your child’s preferences, but the idea is the same. Likewise, upon waking, build a solid habit of getting out of bed followed by a set of predictable, repeatable healthy habits.

Building this habit will help your child get to sleep easier and become more adjusted to a regular, balanced routine. It will eliminate some of the “bedtime resistance” common in youngsters and will start establishing healthy sleeping habits without imposing strict and arbitrary rules. Work to find a ritual that works for both you and your child, and stick to it. Within a few weeks, it will start working all on its own.

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