The following tips will help your child fall asleep, stay asleep and establish good sleeping habits.
* Maintain a consistent sleep schedule: Your child’s bed time and wake up time should be about the same every day of the week, regardless if it is a school day or not. A consistent wake up time sets the stage for the rest of the day and allows adequate sleep pressure to build up by late evening to allow for quicker sleep onset at an appropriate time at night.
* Exercise daily: Have your child make exercise part of his or her daily routine. Incorporating exercise as a daily habit at a young age will help establish it as a daily life-long healthy routine.
* Don’t go to bed hungry: Make sure your child doesn’t go to bed hungry. Provide a light snack such as a glass of milk, a piece of fruit or cereal and milk. Avoid a heavy meal within 1-2 hours of bedtime, as this interferes with sleep.
* Plan up to 1 hour of quiet time before bed: Before bedtime every night, allow your child to set aside up to 1 hour for calm, enjoyable activities, such as listening to quiet music or reading a book. Hygiene and bath routines may be helpful. TV watching, heavy homework, or computer gaming should NOT be part of quiet time. The quiet time activity need not all take place in the child’s bedroom but it should culminate there such that the last 10-15 minutes are in the bedroom where the child will sleep.