Tidying trick for a good sleep
You know how you tuck your toddler into bed and they kiss you good night, then pass out 5 minutes later without a fight? Yeah, me either. What I am about to tell you are very simple ways to get your child to sleep easier while helping them sleep all night.
As weird as this may seem, keeping the room clean is the best way to achieve the best sleep for your child. This subconsciously allows your body and brain to relax quicker and stay asleep longer. Here, I’ll explain a bit more.
As many adults know, there are allergens in the air, inside your house, or vehicle and most anywhere else you can think of. While some people are more allergic to things such as dust, some others may not even realize they have any reactions when in fact they are. Many people suffer the loss of sleep due to allergens on their blankets, pillows, and other bedding without realizing it. With that being said, dirt and dust mites like to make their selves at home on your furniture, mattresses, blankets, pillows and other such things. It’s on a sub-conscious level, but your child will sleep much better on freshly washed bedding than a bed that hasn’t been changed in a week or more. Try and keep a routine with changing or cleaning the bedding frequently whether it be weekly or bi-weekly. This includes pillows and the mattress itself. Some vacuums now offer a deep cleaning option or attachment for mattresses and furniture. So, if you have the capabilities to deep clean your mattress, please do. Another huge thing to invest in to keep a clean mattress is a mattress protector. It will reduce the cleaning you need to do while keeping that mattress free of accidents, dust, bacteria and many other things. It’s an investment to keep your mattress from being damaged too. Don’t forget about that heavy duty comforter that doesn’t fit in a normal sized washer/dryer. You will have to make a trip to the Laundromat to wash it. Those little dirt bunnies will stay put until they have to leave. Also, who doesn’t like crawling into that fresh bedding? It always feels so great and I personally sleep better, so why wouldn’t your child too?
If your kids are anything like mine, they hate being in a pitch black room. Even if you leave the door wide open with the light on in the hallway, they despise it. That being said, you should try and get a night light that doesn’t illuminate too brightly. People are converting a lot of things to LED, but that can almost trigger someone to stay awake. It’s little things like this that get overlooked and kids are wide-eyed and bushy tailed in bed at midnight. There are all sorts of different night lights for children on the market right now. A white noise sound machine with 428 different colors from pastel grey to fluorescent green to a pillow that lights up in multiple colors. I don’t think I could fall asleep with a light up pillow. So, keep it simple. A regular old fashion night light will suffice.
How about those electronic tablets, televisions, cell phones to watch movies? As much as you think this will calm them down to get ready for bed, it’s actually stimulating their brain. The constant movement triggers an almost endorphin response. Also, your child may be learning new things watching which are stimulating multiple different things in their little bodies.
I know from experience that your little ones may be sitting still taking in the movie. You are ready to creep away to your own warm bed as they haven’t moved in 20 minutes when BAM they turn and look at you with wide eyes. The next thing you know, it’s like they just slept all night and are ready for round two of the day. While they are watching the electronics, their brains are going 120 miles per hour. I mean think about it; you put on a movie you like, are you going to go to sleep watching it? Probably not unless you are so exhausted you pass out on the recliner chair with your coffee in your lap.
So what about the toys and miscellaneous other items strewn around the room? Even as a child, clutter, and disarray can cause unknown anxiety. If you keep the room organized daily, that stressor is gone. Like I said, your child isn’t going to know that mess is bothering them, and more than likely you won’t either, but it is. I would have your child help clean up. Make it a normal routine daily and they know what to expect. I know, I know…it’s easier said than done, but that accomplishment will allow them to feel like they did something commendable, like hiking Mount Everest. Make sure to give praise to your child even if they crawl over pretending to be a puppy and pick the thing up with their mouth. They are helping. The praise and respect a child gets for an accomplishment can help relax and ease them into that slumber you want.
Have you ever walked into a department store and are attacked by the smell of someone’s overpowering scent? Whether it be their own odor or an abundance of perfume/cologne, it can be very distracting while giving you the urge to get away. The same thing goes for a child’s room. When cleaning, use pleasant scents. If you clean with bleach, make sure you have ample time to air out the room and then add a nice freshener or scent afterward. I love bleach and use it for cleaning frequently. However, after using bleach my house emits the smell for hours. I make sure to clean early in the day and open the windows afterward. When you decide on a scent for the room, keep in mind some smells are made for comfort, relaxation and calming. I prefer to use lavender for the kids as it always seems to calm them. Even if it’s a fluke for the smells, I will take it.
So you now the room smells heavenly of lavender with a freshly washed bed. The room is clean and organized and you provided a soft ambient glow of a simple night light, but your child still won’t fall asleep. What can you do?
With sticking along the lines of a clean room, throw their blanket in the dryer for 5-10 minutes right before bedtime. When you tuck your peanut in, they will be wrapped in a nice warm blanket. This adds obvious warmth but also security being wrapped up.
Off topic a bit, but make a routine for sleep. If everything else is in order, I prefer to read books. There are many books out there that are calming. Whether you crawl into bed with your little or sit in a chair next to them, this is the best time to read and stay calm.
Now enjoy your new found adult time with the children calmly in bed and snoozing away. On a side note, these tips will also help you sleep better and fall asleep easier as well. Even turning your cell phone on silent or do not disturb with the screen facing down could help you catch some extra minutes of R.E.M. sleep.