Parents and children often struggle with getting children to go to bed and fall asleep at a reasonable time. A bedtime routine can help both parents and children make the daily activity of going to sleep a pleasant experience. But bedtime routines shouldn’t just be for children. An important step for people of all ages to get optimal sleep is a consistent bedtime routine or “Sleep Hygiene”. The following tips are from occupational therapy practitioners who have experience with educating people on promoting healthy daily routines, including bedtime.
- Establish a specific bedtime and a bedtime routine.
- Help yourself and your child relax to get ready for sleep.
- Help your child feel comfortable for bedtime.
- Ensure that your child is safe while sleeping alone.
- Help your child become more independent in sleep.
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An occupational therapist can evaluate any underlying issues impacting the ability to go to sleep and stay asleep, then create an intervention plan to address them. For example, an evaluation could reveal that the child is particularly sensitive to noise, textures, or odors, making it very difficult to relax enough for routine sleep. The occupational therapist can work with the entire family to help create an individualized strategy based on their situation.