It is a well-known fact that sleep is crucial to a child’s development. Many young children will do everything in their power to avoid going to sleep, yet as soon as they reach those teenage years, it would appear as though they change their attitude entirely. Getting them out of bed at all can seem like you’re attempting to wake the dead! However, out of all of the responsibilities of parenthood, ensuring that your child gets enough sleep is one of the most essential.
A lot of research has been carried out on sleep and development in little ones and it has shown that a good night’s sleep is just as important as exercising or keeping a healthy diet. All the time children are learning, growing and playing and they need a full night’s sleep in order to re-charge their bodies. From the age of five to eleven, children need on average a whopping 10 to 12 hours of sleep every night! Establishing a routine is a great place to start and can be a huge help when it comes to happy bedtimes and sweet dreams all round.
It has been found that young children thrive on having a bedtime routine every day. A consistent and steady process at bedtimes will work wonders in helping your little one to understand that it’s time to settle down and go to sleep. An hour or so before bed, spend some time winding down and doing some calm activities, such as reading or storytelling. Make sure that your routine doesn’t involve too much excitement (so no more pillow fights!) before bedtime as this will stimulate your child’s brain and they’ll be up till 3am before you know it.
By creating and implementing a bedtime routine means that you are making a clear distinction between interacting with toys and screens from bedtime, this helps to highlight and understand the transition in going to bed. Usually by early evening, your little one will be fed and ready for bed. It is important for your child to recognise the process of switching off and enjoying a good night’s rest in a calm and relaxed environment.
It is said that this method works best when the bedtime routine has been established and more importantly maintained. This is so that the routine after time becomes naturally instinctive and even becomes a habit every night for your child. However, try not to worry too much if you miss the odd night here and there. Don’t deliberately miss out on holidays, work commitments or having visitors over in fear of ruining the routine, everyone likes to break the rules sometimes and the same goes for our kids!
A daily routine is also a great opportunity for children to start learning the basics of self-sufficiency and organisation that become very important later on in life too!
Many people underestimate how the environment in our own bedrooms affects us. It is so important to have a bedroom environment that can put us in the right frame of mind to be able to sleep.
Some researchers have found that children’s eyes differ from adults quite dramatically. Children’s eyes are anatomically different when compared to adults and their eyes actually let in more light. The research for this shows that any exposure to bright lights at bedtime can really confuse their body clocks. In order to try and avoid this from happening we suggest that any lights or night lights should be low and nearer to the floor so that there is no direct light shining into your child’s eyes.
We would suggest that an hour or so before beginning the bedtime routine that parents attempt to create a cosy atmosphere with soft lighting as they get ready for bed using lamps and/or fairy lights.
Many younger children may wish to have a night light on during sleep. This is fine, just try and make sure that it is out of any direct eyeline. Additionally, thick curtains that have blackout lining are also advantageous in the summer for both keeping the room dark but also cool.
A good bed should accommodate your child’s nightly needs and future development. Which is why most of our bunk beds are compatible with our hook-on shelf. This means that although they are high up, they won’t miss out on a bedside table experience. Having a hook-on shelf means that your little one will still have somewhere to put their night light and even have a place to keep all their favourite stories when it’s time to hit the hay.
It is often thought that finding a high-quality bed or frame is of upmost importance, and while we’re not dismissing that value (they’re still super important too), many people forget all about the importance of a mattress when trying to achieve a great night’s sleep.
Deciding on a mattress for your child can be very different to choosing one as an adult. The Sleep Council state that growth should be taken into major consideration when choosing a mattress for a child. It is extremely common for children to at least double in height and body weight by the time they reach their teens, which often leads to them outgrowing their mattress in the process. The majority of girls experience considerable growth spurts between the ages of 8 and 13 years, while most boys commonly experience their growth spurts between the ages of 10 and 15. Throughout these growth spurts we advise choosing a more supportive mattress.
Temperature control is also an important factor when it comes to the quality of your sleep, this is true for all people and not only children! Temperature should be controlled so that your bedroom environment helps you to fall (and stay) asleep. Natural fibres in mattresses are renowned for being breathable. Bamboo especially has great natural deodorisation properties which makes it excellent as a mattress cover.
Ultimately, your decision will factor down to what is going to provide the most supportive and comfortable sleep for your little one, and here at Aspace, we can certainly point you in the right direction.
When your little one moves into a ‘big bed’ at around the age of two or three years old, we recommend an open coil mattress. Once your child is nearing double figures, it’s time to upgrade. Their rapidly growing bodies will be in need of more support, and it’s likely your old mattress will be nearing the end of its seven-year lifespan too. Here we would recommend a pocket sprung mattress. Quite simply, independent ‘pockets’ of springs respond better to restless bodies, growing limbs and they offer support where it’s needed most.
All of our mattresses have been designed by our sleep experts to cope with the day to day wear and tear of family life. Plus, with some easy care, such as regular turning, wiping and hoovering, should any accidents happen, your mattress should last a super seven years.
THIS IS A GUEST POST FROM THE TEAM AT ASPACE
Located in the heart of Wiltshire, Aspace looks to provide high quality, well-designed furniture for children’s bedrooms. Aspace believe that buying children’s furniture should be looked at as an investment. Not only does Aspace offer a super seven-year guarantee on all their furniture items, but their collections are timeless in design and colour. Aspace furniture is designed to last through the generations, with younger siblings eventually taking claim and reusing key furniture pieces for their bedroom.
Aspace design all of their furniture with children in mind and look to encourage development, fun and quality family time. So, whether you’re looking for a bunk bed that has a larger space in the middle to make those bedtimes stories a bit more comfortable, or a sleepover bed, which comes with a hidden trundle underneath, just know that Aspace products adapt and grow with your family.
Aspace have been creating inspirational children’s rooms for more than 20 years. It is important that our furniture is adaptable, durable, flexible, long-lasting and practical so that parents can create happy homes. Our mission is to help parents create a space for their children designed for sleep, development and play
Find out more at www.aspace.co.uk