Sleep Tips for Moms - How To Help Your Kids Sleep Better
Ah, March. So many things to look forward to: putting the winter clothes away, planning our organic summer gardens (link to new post), dreaming about the year’s first beach day with the kids. And if you’re a mom like so many of us on our team, there’s also one thing to dread this month: daylight savings (cue the scary music).
As if monitoring our children’s sleep and getting them on a routine where they get enough of it wasn’t hard enough. Along comes daylight savings to get everyone off their routine, while we lose an hour of precious sleep in the process.
Worried about your children’s sleep hygiene? Here are some sleep tips, from fellow busy parents (so we know these can really help!).
Sleep Tips For Parents #1: Turn Off The Screens
By this point, you’ve probably heard about how damaging blue light can be on our body’s natural sleep signals. In other words: staring at any kind of screen before bed can be really damaging.
Plus, in our experience, it’s not only the blaring light that keeps our kiddos awake. Playing games and watching videos is too stimulating for us adults, so imagine what it’s doing to their little brains.
That’s why it’s best to eliminate screens and phones at least an hour before bed—preferably even more. And if you can’t eliminate screens in the evening for whatever reason, seek out some blue light blocking glasses, which thankfully now come in kid sizes.
Tip #2: Choose The Right Bedtime Snack
Of course, if we’re going to talk about getting too stimulated right before bed, then we’ve got to talk about sugary snacks. Yes, you don’t want to send your child to bed on an empty stomach. But you don’t want to send them to bed on a bloated, overly-full stomach, either.
The good news? There are light, tasty, and healthy bedtime snacks that can actually help your children sleep better (we know!). At the top of the list are cherries, especially tart cherries, because they can help increase melatonin levels. Unsweetened tart cherry juice might be a hard sell, but add it to some yogurt or a healthy smoothie and you’ve got a tasty treat (especially since dairy is also a good source of natural melatonin).
Almonds, walnuts, and chickpeas (hummus, anyone?) are also nutrient packed foods that can help kids feel satisfied and (hopefully!) sleepy before bedtime.
Tip #3: Establish A Routine
We mentioned ‘sleep hygiene’ earlier, and it’s worth exploring. Like regular hygiene, sleep hygiene is about the routines and sleep environment you create for yourself (or your children), to help promote sleep.
In other words, a chaotic evening routine and a messy bedroom are the equivalent of skipping showers and not brushing your teeth—something you’d never let your kids do.
On the other hand, having a regular, calming routine that you follow every night can go a long way in helping your children fall asleep and stay asleep.
For many parents, this includes a bedtime story. Try to find one that your child loves, but that also isn’t too stimulating. Calm and soothing wins the day (or the evening) here.
Otherwise, there’s no set rules for establishing a routine. Simply find what works for you and your family, and do your best to stick to it.
Tip #4: Food Fixes For Morning Fatigue
Finally, unless you’ve got an early bird on your hands, mornings can be quite challenging for children. They don’t get to resort to coffee like we do!
That’s why in the mornings, we like to turn to food that can help wake our children up and give them the energy boost they need to get going (and stay going). Nutrient dense foods like almonds, dates, eggs, and chia seeds all fit the bill here.
Other great foods in the morning are kale, spinach, and bananas. Perhaps you can see where we’re going with this—time to bust out the blender and your favorite smoothie recipes!
And remember that a child who sleeps well is a child who is healthy and eats well overall. Your body can’t sleep and heal itself properly, unless it has all the nutrients it needs to function. That’s why we’re committed to providing healthy snacks packed with organic superfruit, which are great any time of day.