Many kids have trouble falling asleep. Some kids are scared of things in their room and some just aren’t tired. Whatever the reason, not getting enough sleep can make your life miserable. You won’t be able to get out of bed in the morning, and you will feel tired and grumpy all the time.
Lying in bed, tossing and turning, trying to fall asleep, is not a pleasant way to spend the night. Everyone would rather be peacefully sleeping in bed, with visions of sugar plum fairies dancing in your head.
If it is Christmas night.
Which it probably isn’t because then you would be reading our “How To Fall Asleep On Christmas Eve” article.
Here are KidMag’s tips to help you fall asleep easily:
- Try experimenting with the temperatures in your room. Are you too cold? Add another blanket or adjust your thermostat. Too warm? Get a fan or turn on the air conditioning. Take off a layer of blankets or wear cooler pyjamas.
- No screen time an hour before you go to bed. Although this may sound annoying, it is actually scientifically proven that exposure to artificial blue light an hour before you go to bed will disturb your sleep. Here’s why: When you play on an iPad or phone, watch TV, or do anything else on a screen, that device is omitting blue light. Your brain’s exposure to blue light before bed will disturb your internal clock, a system in your body that tells you when it’s time to go to bed and when it’s time to wake up. This can result in being unable to sleep at night, and, in the morning, unable to wake up. Artificial blue light will also temporarily stop the production of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone.
- Have an actual bedtime routine. This would usually consist of three things:
1. Getting ready. This would include brushing your teeth, putting on your PJs, washing your face, and doing anything else you need to do to get ready for bed.
2. Saying goodnight to your family and getting into bed.
3. Doing a relaxing activity that you can do while sitting in bed for about 15 minutes. A very popular one is reading, however, if you don’t like to read sketching or listening to an audiobook is another option.
You should start to do your routine about half an hour before your bedtime, so that if getting ready takes ten minutes, saying goodnight to your family takes five minutes, and you do a relaxing activity for fifteen minutes, then you will go to bed exactly on time.
- Listen to relaxing sounds while sleeping. Many people choose relaxing music, however, listening to rain sounds and other white noise works better for others. Experiment with both to see which one works better for you. Here are our recommendations:
Piano Sleep Music
Piano Sleep Music
An app called “Pzizz” is also very helpful for sleeping. It can be downloaded on the App Store or Google Play.
- Don’t consume any beverages right before bedtime. This will cause you to get up during the night to go to the bathroom, and once you have gotten up, it will be hard to go back to sleep again. However, with caffeinated beverages, there is another reason. Caffeinated drinks like coffee, lots of teas, energy drinks (like Redbull) and even hot chocolate have amounts of caffeine in them enough to keep you awake at night. So, unless it’s caffeine free tea, drinking these beverages past 3:00 PM should be avoided because they will make it much harder for you to sleep at night.
- Get at least an hour of physical activity per day. Getting active will make you more tired at bedtime, and you will also feel happier making it less likely for stress to be keeping you awake. Try these activities:
1. Taking your dog for a walk
2. Jumping on a trampoline
3. Having a dance party (dancing is a great physical activity)
4. Signing up for a team sport
5. Going for a bike ride
- Count sheep. OK, OK, this sounds ridiculous but doing a repetitive/boring activity like counting sheep can actually help calm your brain, make you tired and eventually, fall asleep. Although some claim that this isn’t effective, you should try it out and see if it works for you. You can also try:
1. Doing the ABC’s in your head over and over again
2. Counting by 7’s, 9’s, or 4’s until you fall asleep
3. Counting as far as you can go before you fall asleep
4. Counting an animal other than sheep: unicorns, cows, dogs. Whatever you want.
- Visualize yourself in your favourite place. Close your eyes, get cozy in your bed and picture yourself in that place. It can be your favourite place to go on vacation, your favourite bike trail, or an imaginary place that you make up. Eventually, you will fall asleep, dreaming of this special place.
BONUS TIP: Are you excited for a special event in your life that’s coming up? Try visualizing you at the special event, doing all of the things that you would do there. It will work exactly the same as visualizing your favourite place.
- Get a nightlight. Although you might have thought that you outgrew it years ago, a nightlight can be helpful for sleeping, especially if you are scared of ghosts etc. It will help you to see that there is nothing in your room to be scared of, whereas in a dark room you can’t see anything, making it more likely for you to believe that there is something unsafe in your room. If you don’t like the classic nightlight, there are some other forms of a nightlight such as projectors that project images of stars or other relaxing images to your ceiling. Many play relaxing music as well!
- Get non-prescription medicine if your parents think it’s necessary. These will soothe you to sleep and potentially stop nightmares from occurring. Although some are certainly placebos, some actually work!
Still can’t sleep? Are you constantly struggling to sleep every night? Talk to your parents. They may suggest that you go to a doctor or therapist to either prescribe medication or talk to you about your issues with sleeping.
Did any of these tips work for you? Let us know using our contact page!