How to Sleep Better, When You Can’t

Do you or your kids struggle with how to sleep better? Today we’re sharing our favorite ways to get to sleep easier for kids and adults alike.

I know my kids go through a phase where they struggle with sleep, either going to sleep or staying asleep. It is frustrating.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to improve sleep quality – these are some of the things we have done to help encourage sleep in our kiddos (and with ourselves).

Image of a kid sleeping on a bed, deep sleep, tips for sleeping better from Kids Activities Blog
These are our favorite ways to have a better sleep!

How to Sleep Better, When You Can’t

Getting enough hours of sleep (especially quality sleep) is a very part of our lives. Studies show that kids who get adequate hours of sleep have improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health. On the other hand, not getting enough sleep can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and other health conditions.

When it comes to adults, sleep experts from the National Sleep Foundation advise that healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night, while babies, young children, and teens need even more hours to enable their growth and development. Lack of sleep on a constant basis can lead to sleep disorders on the long run.

There are many different things we can do to get a good night’s sleep; from drinking a nice herbal tea (we love chamomile tea), avoiding blue light before bed (blue light messes with your melatonin production), having a hot bath before bed, to listening to quiet music or even using a white noise machine, all these are simple tips to help those with trouble sleeping.

Today we are sharing with you to get good sleep habits so you and your entire family can get a better night’s sleep. Let’s get started!

Sleep Solutions

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Use a weighted blanket. If your child (or you) are a sensory-aware individual, sometimes the stimulation of a heavy blanket can help your body relax and you can have a better quality of sleep.

Follow relaxation techniques; here’s one. Imagine that your body is very heavy. Start at the bottom of your toes and clench each muscle and then relax it and make it feel heavy. Progressive muscle relaxation will make you drift off.

Are you traveling? Still need a crib? Use a laundry basket. You can pack your stuff in the basket and at night your tot can sleep there.

Regular exercise is important for everyone, kids and adults alike. Exercise enough time during the day, but not too late at night – physical activity will put your body in an alert state and affect your sleep-wake cycle.

Avoid bright lights and electronic devices for at least an hour before bed. Instead, take a warm bath, read a book, meditate or do light yoga. Your biological clock will know it’s time to get a restful sleep once you get into a routine and help you get a better night.

Collage image - top left is a kid doing yoga, top right is a kid wearing pajamas holding a teddy bear, bottom left shows a cranberry sauce, and bottom right is a weighted blanket. Text says "hacks for sleep"
Easy hacks and tricks for better sleep!

How to Go to Sleep Faster

Mix a sleepy bedtime drink that is full of melatonin from a natural source, tart cherry juice. Drink this bedtime drink an hour or so before bed so you will be relaxed when you hit the covers. via Everyday Roots

Lavender oil. Studies show that using lavender oil helped individuals get REM sleep, which is the most restorative sleep. Read how to use lavender essential oils for kids to get a better night of sleep.

If you aren’t sure about taking the supplements we mentioned earlier, you can get the same benefits through snacks! Having a small bedtime snack of bananas can be a natural remedy that will help you rest better. Bananas have potassium and magnesium which make them an excellent choice before bed. Kids are likely to sleep longer if they go to bed with a small amount of food in the bellies as well! via Love and Marriage Blog 

The food we eat can either help us sleep better or make sleep more difficult. Keep a journal of your kid’s eating and sleeping habits (and your own!) to figure out what foods help and which ones negatively affect their sleeping patterns. via My Life and Kids.

Collage - images show a kid sleeping, a kid doing yoga, a sensory bottle, a chore list and a mom relaxing on the floor. Text says "22 solutions for sleep"
These are our favorite sleep solutions for active kids.

How to Sleep Through the Night

Try and ditch the nightlight. I know kids think they need them to sleep well, but the reality is often the light is actually keeping your kids awake, and disrupting their deep sleep.

Need to help your kids learn how to sleep faster? Try a sensory bottle! Your child can have fun playing in bed counting the starts until they drift off to sleep. They shouldn’t fight sleep quite as much since they don’t realize the bottle is really helping them drift off to sleep, they’ll just think they are playing! at Kids Activities Blog

Yoga is not just for adults! Get your kids started with some simple poses before bed to help them relax before bed and calm down from a busy day of playing. This can help them get to sleep faster and provide a calming element to your bedtime routine.

Tips to Be Well Rested

Have a list of things you’ll need done first thing in the morning, and take care of those things before bed. So many people have trouble thinking because they can’t turn off their internal to-do list. By taking care of some things before bed you (and your kids) will be able to rest easy knowing that you are ready for the next morning.

Keep in mind that your school night bedtime routine may look a bit different than your routine in the summer or weekend. But having a bed routine every night will improve your sleeping and it can help your kids sleep longer as well! via Ask Anna

Say no to the TV. Cut out all electronic device use at least one hour before bedtime. The light and movement on the screen wakes and grab the attention of the brain. You want a calm brain for bed.

Count sheep but as you count, take a deep, deep breath and let it out slowly and completely until it feels like there is no air in your chest. These deep breaths will help you nod off.

Is your mattress toxic? Or is it causing you to toss & turn? Is it a good fit for you? at Kids Activities Blog

Sleep better and wake more rested with yogic sleep. It’s a simple process that you or your kids can do together. This can help you get that deep sleep and well-rested feeling all of us moms need so desperately. via Modern Parents Messy Kids

Collage - images show tips for sleeping like a baby. Milk and honey, honey gummy, baby getting a massage, and a baby sleeping.
Who wouldn’t love to sleep like a baby?

Remedies for Sleep

Warm milk and honey is common bedtime drink. The proteins are great for keeping your tummy full longer, so you sleep more deeply. via Pregnancy

Magnesium Gummies. Magnesium deficiency can cause sleeplessness. If you are low on magnesium, consider taking a supplement like this to get better sleep at night and to help you sleep through the night. via Butter Believer

Give your baby a massage to soothe them to sleep. As you leave the room be sure you have a peace and calming oil diffusing to keep them in that restful state for as long as possible.

If you are skipping cribs for your kids or traveling, consider placing a pool noodle under the sheet of your child’s bed. This will help keep them on the mattress at night so you don’t have to keep waking up to readjust the kids. via Montessori Moms.

More Tips for Better Sleep

Drink a smoothie! Who knew that a smoothie with almonds, yogurt, and cherries would promote sleep. I didn’t until I tried it! at Kids Activities Blog

As crazy as it might sound putting your kids to bed earlier can help them sleep longer. Little ones need a lot more sleep than adults do, so finding that “sweet spot” at night when they need to go to bed can end up keeping them in their beds longer which will mean more rest at night and happier days. via Your Modern Family

Try to keep the meltdowns to a minimum. A child getting all worked up before bedtime is a recipe for poor sleep! Try calmer, no-cry nighttime approaches at night that will soothe them quietly to bed, without taking all evening. via Clarks Condensed

Try These Hacks!

Have you ever spent some nights in a hotel and not really wanted kicking kiddo next to you in bed all night? Try this chair trick to make everyone have their own space! Push two of the large armchairs next to each other to make an extra bed for the kids. Chances are they will be arguing over who gets to sleep in the cool new bed and everyone will sleep easier with a little more distance between them. via Rhonda Bramell

Get this free eBook with lots of awesome sleep tips, Hacking Sleep!

More Tips

Not sleeping is miserable! We hope these hacks can help you and your kids start getting the good sleep you need and make your bedtime routine a breeze!

We hope you enjoyed these tips to improve your sleeping environment! Sweet dreams!

Want more sleeping tips from Kids Activities Blog?

What did you think of these ways to get to sleep easier? Are you going to try them? Let us know!

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