How To Fall Asleep Fast – Sleep Tips For Kids & Parents
Over the years, I have learned a few tricks to successfully get my kids to fall asleep fast. The best part is that all my tricks work for my husband and me too!
Our biggest struggle at naptime and bedtime used to be to get our kids to fall asleep quickly. Through research and trial and error, I’ve cracked the code and here I’ll share the best tips on how to make your child fall asleep fast. These sleep tips and tricks also work wonders for parents too – so don’t worry moms, I’ve got you!
How much sleep do We need?
Let’s start off with understanding how much sleep we need. The amount of sleep we need varies at each stage in our lives. As we grow – from baby to adult, the number of hours of sleep needed decreases but should not be less than 7 hours. Sleep Foundation provides the following recommendations of sleep ranges:
Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)
Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)
Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)
Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)
School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)Sleep Foundation
It’s true that more sleep doesn’t automatically mean you feel refreshed the following day but it can help with getting you there. For instance, you’re far more likely to get more quality sleep if you sleep for 8 hours than if you sleep for 3 hours.
Why is Quality sleep Important For Kids & Parents
The quality of sleep is arguably more important than the quantity. The quality of your sleep determines how rested you feel.
I’ve known people who have slept for 10 hours and still feel tired. On the other hand, I know of people who get 6 hours of sleep on average and feel well-rested and energetic.
Sleep helps us to reenergize, heal, increase brain memory function, and make us more productive.
When we lack quality sleep our concentration, attention, problem-solving skills and our mood suffer at an alarming rate.
WebMD has a great article outlining some of the effects of sleep loss.
When I don’t get enough sleep my brain function definitely suffers. I forget things, I’m short tempered and of course, I’m dragging. If I feel like this I totally get the tantrums from the kids when they don’t get enough quality sleep.
According to parents.com, there are two different types of sleep: NON REM and REM (Rapid Eye Movement).
Non Rem sleep consists of five stages of sleep with deep sleep (stages 3 & 4) being the most important as it’s the healing stage and helps to restore us.
REM sleep is where we dream, sort memories and optimize memory function.
Interestingly, the article goes on to say that deep sleep tends to take place during the first third of the night, and REM sleep seems to take place closer to morning time.
What does all of this tell us? As moms, we’re probably not getting enough deep sleep. The key, therefore, lies in preventing and limiting restlessness and learning to fall asleep quickly and deeply.
8 tips To Help Your Kids (And You) Fall Asleep Fast & Get Better quality sleep
Learning how to fall asleep fast as a kid has is key to overall health and development. The following tips get my kids to fall asleep in no time and it’s so simple! Once you get your child into a good bedtime routine, everyone’s going to have better sleeps and better days. Remember, these tips also work wonders for you too, so be sure to try them out!
1. The breathing technique that Helps your Kids Fall Asleep fast
Deep breathing is at the top of my sleep tips because it makes my kids fall asleep faster. It’s the best and most important tip to get anybody to fall asleep fast!
For new moms, deep breathing is particularly important for those late-night nursing sessions. After I put my baby down, I used to read on my phone to try to get sleepy but somehow an hour passes and I’m still scrolling.
Thankfully I came across the 4-7-8 method by Dr. Weil. This deep breathing exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. In a nutshell, you take a 4-second breath through your nose, hold the breath for 7 seconds then release through your mouth slowly for an 8-second count. Dr. Weil recommends to only do this for four cycles initially and increase once you’re more familiar.
In the beginning, I could not hold my breath for that long and so I started off with the same principle but just a shortened version. Once I practiced it, this works every time for me.
This method is also great because your child learns how to fall asleep fast as a kid. I started it with my kids when they were young. It encourages them to purposefully calm their minds and relax. At first, my second son was somewhat resistant to trying this deep breathing technique but my firstborn and I did the breaths with him and he eventually got into it. Now, my kids are pros and they do it without prompting. They’re really proud that they learned how to fall asleep fast as a kid and are eager to teach their baby sister when she gets older.
2. Optimize the temperature of your sleep environment
The temperature of your kids’ bedrooms and your bedroom helps to create a comfortable environment to fall asleep quickly. If the sleep environment is too hot or too cold it would be challenging to get to sleep.
As we sleep our internal body temperature rises and this can cause discomfort if the room is too warm. The use of fans and air conditioning can help in warmer weather and heat can help in colder weather.
It’s worth it to test out different temperatures to find what’s comfortable for each member of your family.
3. Create a dark sleep environment To Help Your Child Sleep Faster
Light signals to our brains that it’s time to be awake. Therefore, reducing light signals to our brain that it’s time to sleep and stay asleep.
Waking up with the natural light is awesome if you are getting enough quality sleep. Otherwise, blackout curtains are essential.
This is really helpful for our kids’ nap time routines and getting them to sleep quickly. This dark environment also helps them to sleep in on mornings instead of getting up once it’s bright outside.
4. Say goodnight to Electronic devices To Get Kids To Fall Asleep Fast
While there are now settings and apps to reduce blue light exposure, I’ve found that putting down the phone and other electronics before bedtime helps us get to sleep faster. It also goes a long way to improve the quality of our sleep.
Especially for our kids, we have a no electronics rule after dinner. This rule not only helps our kids fall asleep faster but we have also found that they wake up the next morning in much better moods and with higher energy levels.
Instead, before bed, we do things to help us relax and wind down. We read books, sing nursery rhymes, and let the kids tell us stories. Snuggling and reading with our kids also put us into sleep mode. If you need a little more reading time, after the kids are in bed, you can also use the opportunity to get some much-needed adult time and read a new book.
5. White noise is not just for babies!
Yes! White noise is not just for babies, it has worked wonders for our kids and for us too.
White noise works so well for our family in two main ways. Firstly, it helps us get in a relaxed state to drift off to sleep easier. This, together with the deep breathing technique is how our kids get to sleep faster.
Secondly, once asleep, white noise helps us stay asleep by blocking out interruptions that may disturb our sleep and wake us.
6. Have a relaxing nighttime routine for Everyone
A simple self care night time routine can do wonders to help you fall asleep faster and to improve your sleep quality.
For me, a warm shower and self-massaging my feet, hands, and head relax me enough before bed. I also love doing stretches before bed as it relaxes me to the point where the 4-7-8 breathing technique works even faster.
For the kids, sometimes while they read, we give their little feet massages or give them head rubs.
7. Avoid Sugar & Caffeine before bedtime
I’m sure we’re all too familiar with the sugar rush kids experience. To avoid any chance of a sugar rush before bed, we try to limit food with sugar before bed.
Moms and dads should also avoid caffeine before bedtime. I don’t drink coffee (gasp, I know!). So, for this sleep tip, I’ve relied on experiences from other moms.
Caffeine is beneficial when we need a burst of energy, which is why it’s effective for mornings. When you think of how that cup of coffee allows you to feel on a morning, it’s no surprise that it’s probably not the best idea to have it before bed.
Keep in mind that while we may still get to sleep, the quality of sleep may negatively be affected.
8. Go back to sleep, if you can!
This final sleep tip sets the tone for the day and the next sleep time. It is crucial in helping kids fall asleep later on, at nap time and night time.
I’ve experienced a child waking up too soon enough times to know that this is super important. If they get up too early, they’re cranky and moody during the day and nap times tend to be challenging. In turn, helping my kids get to sleep at bedtime can prove to be more difficult than usual.
So, if my kids wake up too early, I always encourage them to go back to bed. Sometimes, I let them finish sleeping in our bed but most times, I take them back to their beds and tuck them in. Sometimes I stay with them and we do the deep breaths until they drift off but most times, they’re really still sleepy and so they go back to sleep on their own.
As a mom, of course this is a struggle for me, like many other moms. Whether it’s because our kids wake us up before we are ready to get up or because we think we can get more done by getting up before everyone else.
My third baby liked to sleep in on mornings and I was trying to capitalize on that by waking up earlier (sometimes forcing myself) and getting a headstart on chores or work. I soon realized that I couldn’t keep up. I was cranky and tired.
Instead, when I wake up earlier than I should, I keep my eyes closed and do the deep breathing exercises. I fall back to sleep in no time.
This may not be an option during the week, but on weekends you can definitely try it if your kids would allow. Or try switching with hubby – you take Saturdays and he takes Sundays to sleep in.
Learning how to get your kids to fall asleep fast is gold as a parent and it’s also essential for you to learn how to fall asleep fast. I hope these tips mean the end of frustrating nights and nap time with getting your kids to sleep. I also hope it means no more tossing and turning or scrolling for you!
Happy sleeping 🙂
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