Sleep Environment Tips
The sleep environment is often over looked but it is an important piece of the puzzle when addressing sleep problems for both children and adults.
The list could go on and on, but these are the ones I feel are most important and often over looked.
- Music during your bedtime routine is fine, but turn it off before you put your child down to sleep as it prevents your child from sleeping as deeply as he needs to.
- Your child's bed/crib should be free of all toys, aquariums, music boxes or activity boards which do not contribute to sleep.
- Using white noise when your baby/child falls asleep (and keep it on throughout the entire sleeping time) will help with a nice solid deep sleep. It also helps to block out any dogs barking or car horns which can disturb sleep.
- Before 2 1/2 to 4yr most children don't need a nightlight (unless they ask for it). If using a nightlight, keep it to a 4w bulb max.
- The ideal temperature in your child's room should be between 68-72 to protect your baby from getting too hot or too cold. The back of the neck (not her fingers or toes) are a good indication of her warmth.
- On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being very dark - your child's room in the morning and during the day for naps should be at an 8 or 9.(This is very important for alert children).
- Turn off all electronic devices and TV viewing at least 1 hr before bed! The lights stimulate the brain to stay awake or simulate a falls rest period. All of which will effect bedtime.
Michelle Donaghy, Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Certified Gentle Sleep Coach is based in Orange County and has been helping sleepless families get a full night's sleep since 2005.
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