For parents of children who have anxiety at bedtime, getting them to sleep each night can be exhausting and stressful. Fear about bedtime can come in many forms. Some children are afraid of the dark, while some are worried about monsters in their closets. If your little one has anxiety about bedtime and struggles to fall asleep each night, you’re not alone. Many parents face a similar dilemma when it comes to helping their kids overcome bedtime anxiety. Here are a few tips that can make bedtime easier for both you and your child.
Establish a bedtime routine
It’s helpful for your child to get up around the same time every morning. By following the same bedtime routine each night, which can include taking a bath and cuddling together as you read a book, your child will learn to look forward to a predictable turn of events, which can help bedtime become less scary.
Make bedtime relaxing
When bedtime is a relaxing time, children are more likely to get the sleep they need. Make sure your little one has a comfortable bed, pillow, and bedding. Also, bedtime should be quiet and free from distractions (such as the TV and overstimulating interactions with others). If possible, it’s best to remove electronic devices and screens from your child’s room before bedtime so that kids aren’t tempted to stay up late.
Play peaceful music
Studies have found that certain types of music can help children fall asleep more easily. Classical or instrumental music tends to work well because it doesn’t have too many loud or high notes. Playing low soothing tunes can help to make bedtime less scary for children who are afraid of the dark. Music can also mask any odd noises that might occur outside while children are trying to fall asleep.
Read bedtime stories
Reading together is a fun way to help your child get ready for sleep and alleviate bedtime stress. When you incorporate reading into a relaxing bedtime routine that you can enjoy together, it will help your child learn to anticipate a familiar routine. Carve out time to read bedtime stories with your child every night. Be sure to choose stories that are not overstimulating or full of energy, as these types of books may make your child too excited to fall asleep. You can also invite children to pick out stories that interest them.
Give children reassurance
If children are worried about something that keeps them from falling asleep peacefully at bedtime, find ways to reassure them that they are safe and nothing bad will happen. For example, If kids are afraid of the dark, you may say something like, “The sun is still shining even though we can’t see it right now,” or, “No monsters are hiding in the closet because I already checked!”
Reward positive bedtime behavior
If you catch your child being brave despite bedtime fears, you can give some sort of reward or token. The benefit of recognizing positive bedtime behavior is helping kids develop motivation to overcome their fears.
If you choose to recognize when your child goes to bed and cope with anxiety in a positive way by giving a token, you might decide to let your child enjoy a treat or an extra hour playing video games. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something that your child is likely to like and work to achieve.
Being anxious at bedtime is not uncommon for many young children. There are things parents can do to help alleviate their children’s fears about bedtime. Sometimes, this type of anxiety may be indicative of other problems that need attention, such as worries or stress about school or something going on at home. It’s crucial to pay attention to your child’s cues so you can nip bedtime fears in the bud.
For more helpful parenting tips, or if you’re looking for a school that offers high-quality early education, Akers Academy is an ideal choice. Here at Akers Academy, enrichment of skills, safety, and love of children are the primary motivation behind everything we do. Our early learning curriculum helps build a strong foundation that lays the groundwork for self-confidence and academic excellence for your child’s future.