1. USE AN EGG TIMER
Use tangible items like an egg timer to structure the hour dedicated to winding down.
2. ADHERE TO A SLEEP SCHEDULE REGARDLESS OF THE DAY
While it can be fun to stay up late or sleep in on weekends, this unstructured time can derail the progress made during the week.
3. REMOVE STIMULATION
This includes rough-housing and technology. Not only can it disrupt the peaceful atmosphere, but the light from computer screens can signal the body that it’s daytime.
4. OFFER REWARDS
If your child completes bedtime activities (bathing, brushing teeth etc.) or stays in bed after lights out, they can be rewarded with small tokens that can be traded in for morning treats like picking the music in the car on the way to school.
5. KEEP THE HOUSE QUIET
Even if you plan to stay up long past “bedtime,” it’s helpful to keep voices down and the TV volume on low.
6. BE CALM
If they wander, return children to bed calmly. It is inevitable that some nights kids will struggle to stay in bed – don’t humor this behavior by arguing, lecturing or expending excessive energy.
7. ALLOW A FULL HOUR FOR BED TIME
Use the egg time to create routine and structure within this hour, making bedtime predictable and regimented.
8. INVEST IN WHITE NOISE
A white noise machine, or even a fan, can help to eliminate stimulating household noises at bed time.
9. WAKE UP GENTLY
Instead of a blaring alarm, try opening the blinds or turning off the white noise machine to set the tone for a tantrum-free day.
10. ALLOW FOR WAKE UPTIME
Allow for getting ready time when planning kids’ wake up time. This will make getting out the door a lot less stressful!
11. MONITOR NAPS
Long naps can be very damaging to sleep patterns. If a nap is needed, try to limit it to a 20-30min power nap.
12. CONSIDER MELATONIN
Of course, consult with your doctor first!
Before closing, Vann recognizes sleep challenges that go beyond typical symptoms of ADHD. These include restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, night terrors, delayed sleep phase syndrome and narcolepsy. Please consult with a doctor if you suspect your child is struggling beyond the typical realm.
In conclusion, bed time doesn’t have to be a battle of wills. After a few weeks, routine can help to provide structure to one of the most important parts of a child’s day.