In order to sleep well, we need to have the right sleeping conditions. Light, noise and temperature can greatly affect how we sleep and thus how we feel the next day, and this is especially true for children. Sometimes these factors are unavoidable because of where we live but regardless of your location, there are ways to make everyone’s bedroom more sleep friendly and sleepless nights a thing of the past.
Much of our sleep patterns – feeling sleepy at night and awake during the day ‐ are regulated by light and darkness.1 When evening approaches and the light in our environment dwindles, our brain releases hormones that make us feel sleepy. During the day, bright light suppresses these hormones and releases chemicals that keep us awake and alert.2 So if you live in an area where the sun rises early or a streetlight shines through your child’s bedroom window, it can send wake‐up messages to their brain making it harder for them to fall asleep and stay asleep and cause them to rise long before they, and you, are ready.
What to do:
- A dark bedroom contributes to better sleep, so use darkening curtains or shades to keep little bodies and minds in sleep mode until it’s time to wake up and start the day.
- Keep a dim nightlight in your little one’s bedroom if they dislike sleeping in complete darkness.
Noises at levels as low as 40 decibels and as high as 70 decibels can disturb our sleep.1 This means that the dripping of a tap can affect our slumber as well as living near an airport, on a main road, in a bustling neighbourhood or next door to a dog that barks all night long. Unwanted noise can make us move, shift between different stages of sleep, or even wake up, sometimes so briefly that we may not even remember the next morning,3 which may explain why you have an overtired child on your hands.
What to do:
- If unwanted noise is stealing your child’s much needed sleep try to block it out with ‘white noise’ from a fan or air conditioner. A constant or soothing background hum will help mask activity from inside or outside the house and manage sleeping problems.
- Consider a natural sleep remedy like Cenovis Kids Night Calm Vita Chewies to encourage a restful night’s sleep.
Most sleep experts believe that a slightly cooler room, somewhere around 18 degrees, contributes to a good night’s sleep. This is because it mimics our body’s internal temperature which tends to drop during the night to its lowest level.1 In fact studies indicate that some forms of insomnia are associated with an improper regulation of body temperature.4 Your child’s sleep might be interrupted through the night because they are too hot or too cold. This might be due to the climate or it could be because their bedroom windows are closed to reduce outside noise.
What to do:
- Choose light, breathable cotton pyjamas and sheets for your child to stop them from becoming too overheated at night time.
- During summer or in warmer climates open the bedroom window or use a ceiling or portable fan, leave the bedroom door open, and open other windows in the house to allow air to circulate.
- In winter or colder climates layer on blankets rather than using a single thick blanket or cover, so your child can kick off a layer or two if they get too warm.