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Bedtimes / 30 Nov 2015 / by James

Top tips for happy bedtimes

As the clocks go back for winter and it starts to get dark before you‘ve even started making dinner, it can mean pre-bedtime schedules need a bit of a rethink. No more kicking a ball around in the garden after tea, or bouncing on the trampoline in your pyjamas before bed!

A bedtime routine is important at any time of the year – it gives children structure to their world, and helps ensure they get the sleep they need to make the most of every day. For younger children and toddlers bedtime can be a bit of a battleground – there are so many better things to do! For older children, it can be hard for them to wind down after a busy day, which can mean a lack of quality sleep and a broken night for everyone.

We’ve written before about how much sleep children need, and this usually defines what time you set for bedtime. It’s important to maintain the bedtime routine, because sleep has been proven to be hugely important to a child’s growth and development, and it’s really important for you too. If your children are sleeping peacefully through the night, chances are you’ll be more rested and happier too!

Most pre-school children go to bed about 7pm on a school night, and maybe a little bit later at weekends, but every family is different and you need to choose a time that works for you. Older siblings often go to bed a little later than younger ones, and this can be a good way of making sure each child gets some quality time with you or your partner before they go to bed.

A period of wind-down before bed can be a really useful aid for restful sleep, putting children in a more relaxed state of mind that will help them fall asleep more quickly, and get a better quality of sleep. Make sure the hour before bed is “quiet time”, where the TV and video games are turned off, and any activities are designed to help your child relax. Lots of parents include soft lighting, a bath and warm pyjamas in this phase, then have a cuddle and a story before teeth and toilet and a final story when they’re tucked up in bed.  

We’ve also been chatting to our friends at This Works, who believe a good night’s sleep should be available to all. We love their sleep pillow sprays for babies and children, expertly blended with relaxing Lavender, Vetivert and Camomile to help lull your little ones into a peaceful sleep. They are clinically proven for adults too!  Have difficulty getting to sleep?  Try deep sleep pillow spray (£16). Or are you a restless sleeper?  Try sleep plus pillow spray (£25), clinically proven to give you an additional two hours sleep a night!*

To mark the clocks going back and the onset of autumn, we’re giving away a This Works Deep Sleep hamper worth £250, packed with goodies to help both you and your children get a restful night’s sleep. To enter, simply click here - good luck, and sweet dreams!