This article is sponsored by Children’s Mercy
and written by Kevin Smith, PhD – Children’s Mercy Clinical Psychologist
Getting more sleep — for you and your child — is a goal of which many parents dream. Quality sleep has a significant impact on both physical and mental health — and quality sleep starts with a quality sleep environment!
These four simple tweaks to your child’s bedroom can help everyone get a better night’s rest:
- Make it dark. Our brains are trained to switch into sleep mode when it’s dark. If there is too much outdoor light in your child’s room at naptime or bedtime, use window coverings like blackout curtains or child-safe blinds. Adding a dim light source, like a nightlight or projector light, can help your child feel safe in the dark while still promoting healthy sleep. Avoiding electronic screens close to bedtime also helps everyone transition to sleep more easily.
- Keep it (mostly) quiet. You might find your child sleeps better with a little background noise. Soft, consistent sounds like white noise, instrumental music or even just a fan can have a calming effect on your child. Kids are also less likely to be awakened by noises in the home or neighborhood with some soft sounds in their bedroom.
- Stay cool. For most people, the ideal sleeping temperature is cooler than what we’d consider “room temperature” during the day. However, the most important thing is to avoid extreme heat or cold in your child’s bedroom and provide seasonally-appropriate clothing and covers.
- Check for comfort. When was the last time you slept in your child’s bed? If it was last night, you’re definitely not alone! But if it’s been a while, check to be sure your child’s mattress is comfortable and big enough for their growing body. It’s not always necessary to replace the whole mattress if it’s uncomfortable. There are lots of foam and other toppers you can add to their bed to make it more inviting for sleep. As a reminder, do not add any mattress toppers to a crib mattress or other infant sleeping spaces.
These small changes can make a big difference in sleep quality and quantity for your family. Check out the video below with Kevin Smith, PhD, Clinical Psychologist at Children’s Mercy, for more information on creating the best sleep environment for your child.
Children’s Mercy Wichita offers a child-friendly environment to provide families access to pediatric specialty care that otherwise might not be available without traveling out of the community including Cardiology, Endocrinology, Nephrology, Hepatology, Neurosurgery, Plastic Surgery and more.