IF you struggle getting your children to sleep each night, then you might want to get the hoover out – yes, seriously.
Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, Silentnight’s sleep expert has revealed that your vacuum cleaner is actually a good example of white noise which will help your kids doze off with ease.
Here, Dr Ramlakhan has shared eight tips to help ease your little ones back into the perfect sleep routine – and it might be easier than you think.
1. Snack on tuna
Hormones such as serotonin and melatonin help us sleep better – and what our kids eat can directly impact their hormone balance, Dr Ramlakhan says.
Tuna is a very rich source of serotonin, so snacking on some before bed will help them get some shut eye.
Other foods such as chicken, cheese, eggs, nuts and milk are also all high in serotonin and lunchbox friendly too.
2. Put the hoover on
After sending our kids to bed, the last thing we'd want is to create noise in fear of waking them up – or worse, not falling asleep at all.
But believe it or not, the whir of your vacuum cleaner is actually a good example of white noise which helps restless sleepers, including infants, drift off to sleep.
White noise creates a comfortable environment and can calm anxious minds, so next time you think the living room needs a once over, try doing it while the kids are in bed.
3. Drink plenty of milk
A glass of milk before bed is a long standing tradition, with parents often relying on milky drinks to help settle their little ones.
Dr Ramlakhan says a cup of cocoa works the same, but give it at least an hour before lights out to avoid waking up for the loo.
4. Do 20 star jumps
If your kids run amok right before bed, you often find yourself telling them to calm down, right?
Well according to Dr Ramlakhan, exercise is one of the most effective ways of reducing adrenaline, resulting in a deeper sleep – so wearing them out might not be such a bad idea.
Dr Ramlakhan says that introducing a joint family activity session in the early evening is a great way of easing into a new sleep routine which will no doubt have them doze off in seconds.
5. Rub lavender into pyjamas and bedding
Kids' bedrooms need to have a cool, clean atmosphere in order to help them fall asleep.
And a great way of maintaining this is by having freshly laundered bedding and pyjamas, with lavender fragrance throughout.
Dr Ramlakhan recommends rubbing some into pyjamas and bed sheets which is a great way to soothe the body before you doze off.
6. Remove technology from the bedroom
Kids nowadays have swapped stuffed toys for iPads and the light from technology has an impact on our sleep.
An hour or so before hitting the sack kids should rule out all devices – so no TV, tablets or mobile phones.
This will allow them to fully wind down before bed, and it’s a good habit and routine to get into.
7. Have a wacky conversation
Rather than having important conversations right before bed, Dr Ramlakhan recommends having a fun or wacky chat instead.
It could be something interesting you’ve read or seen, or something you spotted while out and about – the wackier and more positive the better as it'll help keep them calm.
8. Don’t address school concerns right before bed
With the little ones getting ready to head back to school, they'll no doubt have a lot on their mind.
While it's important to talk to your kids about any concerns they might have, Dr Ramlakhan suggests having serious chats a little earlier in the day.
By doing this, you'll avoid making them feel anxious right before going to sleep.
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