OOOhh, light my sparklers – it’s bonfire night in the UK. Of course firework displays seemed to have dwindled over the past few years; environment considered more now than ever before, but there are bound to be a few bright fireworks in the night sky tonight.
Usual stuff – keep your pets safe and of course, if you’re having a bonfire, make sure no creatures have been making it their home in recent days. Having said that, have a great evening!
After all the excitement of halloween, firework night and Christmas countdowns about to start, if they haven’t already, it’s not always easy to calm the children at night. Have you noticed they can get super active around bedtime? – or maybe that’s just my lot 🙂
But if you are having trouble getting the little darlings to sleep, here are a few tips I’ve used over the years to keep me sane (-ish) ….
* Keep an eye on the time. If you suddenly realize it’s five minutes before bedtime and go into ‘omg it’s bedtime’ mode then start rushing around getting pj’s ready and toothbrushes toothpasted, you won’t be able to create a sense of calm.
Start thinking about bedtime half hour before the allotted time. Then slowly but surely encourage the pjs, the teeth cleaning and the choice of bedtime story. By the time they get into bed, children are calmer and ready to sleep.
*Avoid anything with sugar in: Don’t be tempted to give in to the cookie jar for a bit of peace. It will backfire! Sugar – as we know – is not a calming agent and you can suddenly find yourself with hyperactive kids and a headache. Avoid sugar at least an hour, preferably longer, before bedtime. Toast and honey can create calm while satisfying the sweet tooth cravings, but always consider what works best for your child.
*Warm drinks – no caffeine or sugar of course, but otherwise a warm drink can really calm the body and mind ready for sleep. Even a spoonful of honey in hot water can work wonders.
*Temperature: These days, many of us live in centrally heated homes and, although we don’t want to be cold at bedtime, too much heat can interfere with settling into a relaxing state. Turn down the thermostat a little if it’s too warm in the bedrooms.
*Bedtime Stories: Children tend to want the same stories read to them every night for weeks or even months, which doesn’t make it easy to put your whole attention into reading. Kids are savvy – they know when you’re just going through the motions. Treat each reading as if it’s a first and you’ll have happy kids all ready to sleep the night away!
Most of these quick tips work well for grown-ups too 🙂 If you’re having trouble sleeping, it’s often because your mind is not behaving itself. Too many thoughts, worries and replays going on in that remarkable brain of yours.
Treat yourself to a good night’s sleep by adopting some or all of the tips above and one extra note I feel should be added here…
Don’t watch the news before bed!
Normally, the national or international news is peppered with bad news and concerns about humanity, environment and natural disasters. They will still be there for you to deal with in the morning, so avoid cluttering up your mind with these stories in the evening.
Enjoy your evenings, watch something funny, indulge in your latest hobby or spend a wonderful time with friends and family – you could even consider getting out a board game and turning off the TV – how radical is that?!!!
P.S. My most relaxing thing to do – apart from sleeping and meditating of course, is knitting. This pattern from The Ekokids collection is simple to make and will encourage bedtime as a natural and calming experience rather than the battleground it could be!
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