Dad Podcast

How to Make Bedtime Easier Using Brain Science – Dudes To Dads Ep 81
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When you have a baby, your primary focus is getting the baby to sleep through the night.  When you have a toddlers, they love to keep coming out of their room, they need 400 stuffed animals, their bed needs to be perfect, etc. For young children, they just seem to delay the process as long as possible.   I need to figure out what I can do to improve the process.  I found some tips based on brain science by Katherine Eskovitz

Too little of sleep causes serious problems for children.
Studies suggest that every 15 minutes less sleep for high schoolers means a drop of one letter grade. Lack of sleep contributes to bad moods, sickness, depression, and even obesity.

Here are some tips:

1) Create a night time Routine together – eat, bath/shower, pajamas, brush teeth, read, sleep.  Let them help plan it
2) Start a good night journal – great way to clear the brain, can reduce nightmares.  Make sense of our experiences, help with control
3) Dim the lights and stay away from electronics
– light lowers melatonin levels, eliminate TV, computers, etc.  at least 60 minutes before bedtime
4) Play a short bedtime game – Two truths one fake – talk about the day
5) Listen to a good-night talk or make your own
– guided talk that focuses on relaxation – or make your own 
6) Change scary thoughts into silly thoughts
– Change the scary creature into something funny –  like a monster but it has stripes
7) Remember to hug a favorite stuffed animal – stuffed animals can really help reduce nighttime fears
8) Follow the SAME PLAN with the SAME BEDTIME each night –
children thrive on consistency.  It’s not just number of hours, but also consistent time is critical for developing brains.  A recent study showed that children with non-regular bedtimes had more behavioral problems.  for children that went from non-regular to regular bedtimes, their behavior improved.

Some overall tips I have:
a) Early bedtime – 8:00pm – more difficult with daylight savings – don’t want them overtired
b) Create a good sleep environment – comfortable, temperature, no distractions, dark.  As my kids say, it’s COZY

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