Apparently the traditional childhood routine of ‘bath, book and bed’ could soon be consigned to the history books.
I read this with horror (as a kid who didn’t love bath, book and bed?) as the article went on to say that research into bedtime routines discovered that 74% of parents said they regularly gave their children a shower rather than a bath.
A further 74% also claimed children preferred screen time rather than a book with 42% letting them watch TV at bedtime and 28% allowing them to play on iPads, phones and laptops.
Staggeringly over half of the parents surveyed also said their kids had no set bedtime, with 5% saying their children can go to bed when they like.
Worrying statistics especially as we hear every day how little sleep we all get these days. We definitely need to go back to basics when it comes to sleep needs. That’s why our Sleeptember campaign, which is currently running, highlights the benefits of a good night’s sleep – i.e. improved physical, emotional and mental health and wellbeing.
Children need to sleep. Children need routine. And children need parents to step up and put boundaries in place.
They need a lot more sleep than adults. It helps them grow and develop. Without sleep they risk poor school performance, poor social skills and a range of other problems including health issues.
There are three key elements to getting a good night’s sleep – whether you are a child or an adult.
– Regular hours: Going to bed and getting up at the same time, all the time, programmes your body to sleep better.
– Routine: Try and set a regular wind down routine. Leave at least an hour before bed for you or your child to relax. Enjoy a bath, don’t be tempted to use mobile phones, tablets or even the TV and instead read a book or read to your child. This is essential quality time.
– Restful environment: The bedroom should be a cool, quiet and dark place for sleeping with a comfortable bed to climb in to. It should be free from gadgets, or if this isn’t possible the bedroom should be zoned into areas for sleeping and working/playing.
It’s not too late to change bad habits either. Just be prepared to give a new routine time to take effect. For more tips and advice download our Goodnight Guide for Children.