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Be Prepared When the Clocks Change - 5 Tips to Help Your Little Ones Adjust

Warren Evans bed makers and their Sleep Expert, Dave Gibson, have put together these 5 top tips so you can plan for the time change, and help your little ones adjust to their new sleep pattern - avoiding erratic bedtimes due to overtired and emotional children!

1. Routine is Key so get in Sync

A good sleep / wake routine promotes good, continuous, healthy sleep so adjusting your child’s entire routine will ensure that you’re on track for a smooth transition.

Change bedtime gradually, depending on the age and temperament of your child. Try changing bedtime in 15-minute increments over a long weekend for young children of primary and secondary school age, as this won’t interfere with waking up for school. Babies and toddlers will benefit from a longer period, so changing bedtime by 10 minutes over 6 days until you’ve made up the hour. And remember, you are pulling bedtime earlier!

Over the days you change bedtime, don’t forget to alter their wake time accordingly. And be sure to change bath time, nap time and meal times.

Alternatively, if you have an early riser the clocks going forward is a good time to readjust your child. Only change the time by half an hour, or leave it completely so a child waking at 5.30am becomes 6.30am (in theory) – much more reasonable!

2. Create the Perfect Sleep Environment

Dark evenings and bright mornings will ensure that your little ones keep in sync. Dim the lights in the evening and close the curtains a half-hour or an hour before bedtime to encourage a sense that bedtime is coming – black out blinds are essential as evenings stay lighter later. Make the lights brighter in the morning so that wake-up time is even more obvious than it might be otherwise. And ensure that the temperature is right for sleep, around 16 to 21 degrees centigrade is best.

A bed that your child loves jumping into every night is always a positive at bedtime. And a comfortable and supportive bed and mattress is one of the best ways to ensure your child gets good quality, restorative sleep. Warren Evans has an extensive children’s range of beautifully designed beds and amazingly comfortable mattresses too:

3. Physical Activity in the Afternoon

Get outside and enjoy the fresh air together - your little ones will be ready to hit-the-sack come the early evening. Plan physical activity like swimming, bike rides or walks in the woods in the early afternoon for the days on which you are putting bedtime earlier.

4. Eat to Sleep

Our digestive system and our sleep are inextricably linked, with both when and what we eat and drink directly impacting on our quality of sleep. So always be careful with what your child eats close to bedtime. Avoid drinks that contain caffeine and or food and drinks that contain lots of sugar, especially late in the day, as they can affect the ability to fall asleep. A banana with milk provides vitamin B6, which helps convert the tryptophan (found in milk) to serotonin. Another fruit to consider is Cherries, which contain melatonin, which the body produces to regulate sleep.

5. Breath & Relax

Meditation and relaxation are incredibly useful tools for helping your child get in the right mode for sleep. Ask your child to tense and relax each limb / muscle of their body in sequence to show them how to let go of tension and bring their focus into their body. And you can help them to breath from their diaphragm by placing you hand on their belly as they breathe in and out, helping them to relax more easily. It may take time for you both to master these new practices but the efforts will be very rewarding.

Warren Evans handcraft beautiful wooden beds, quality bedroom furniture, and premium mattresses. If you need help getting off to sleep more easily then visit Warren Evans’ sleep tips page.

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