How To Get Your Kids To Sleep Longer

get your kids to sleep longer

May 4, 2024

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I needed my kids to sleep longer in the most desperate way. 5am wakeups, it’s just too early. It’s just too long of a day. I am saying no. So, I need my kids to sleep in longer so I can get some time to myself. It’s vital that you figure this out. Everything you do all day long depends on that start of the day. I’ve researched this extensively. Your day goes so much better when you have a few minutes to yourself in the morning.

You Need Some Minutes In The Morning To Be Your Best

When things didn’t work out, I would trace it back and it was because I didn’t have my act together. I wasn’t getting up before my kids. You must incorporate the systems that will allow you to get enough sleep AND get a few minutes to yourself in the morning. You need clarity to show up hard at home and at work.

We used to dread those early mornings when the clock struck 4:45a and then 5a.m., signaling the start of another bleary-eyed day. It was far from ideal, especially for our little ones who needed more sleep. So, I decided to buckle down and get our family into bed for a longer, more restful night’s sleep.

Listen Below For The Entire Episode On The Systemize Your Life Podcast

The Top 5 Tips To Get Your Kids To Sleep Longer

Here are my top 5 tips for getting your kids to sleep longer, so you can have a more restful night and a more productive tomorrow. Get those minutes of solace in before the kids are up so you can be the best mom, wife and boss you can be!

Kids Sleep Tip #1: Create A Consistent Bedtime Routine

Establishing and sticking to a consistent bedtime and bedtime routine can truly transform your life. The ripple effects of a solid bedtime routine are remarkable, impacting not just your children’s sleep but the entire family dynamic. It’s crucial to maintain this routine consistently for an extended period before considering any deviations. By consistently implementing this practice, you’ll witness remarkable improvements in your children’s sleep patterns over time.

“5 a.m. wakeups? It’s a hard pass. I’ve learned that the key to a successful day lies in reclaiming those precious moments for myself in the morning. By prioritizing a few minutes of solitude before the chaos begins, I’ve discovered clarity, focus, and the power to show up strong—both at home and at work.”

Kids Sleep Tip #2: Get Rid Of Screens

Implementing a Zero Screens Policy in the evening is crucial for promoting healthy sleep habits and protecting your child’s brain function. Research shows that exposure to blue light from screens can disrupt sleep patterns and negatively impact cognitive function.

It’s essential to establish clear boundaries around screen time, particularly before bedtime and after dinner. Instead of relying on screens for entertainment or relaxation, encourage alternative activities such as using a phone-derived sound machine, listening to audiobooks, practicing meditation, or engaging in calming bedtime rituals.

In eliminating screens from the bedtime routine, you create space for more beneficial activities like reading with an amber light bulb, which promotes healthy brain activity and fosters a love for books in your children. Protecting their brains and sleep not only benefits their overall well-being but also sets the stage for a smoother morning routine for the entire family.

Kids Sleep Tip #3: Connection At Bedtime

Establishing a deep connection at bedtime is essential, particularly for children with additional needs, and I’ve guided many mothers through this process. There are various ways to foster this connection, with reading and engaging in back-to-basics activities being two effective methods. From drawing and creating shadow puppets to playing card games, these simple yet meaningful interactions create opportunities for bonding and closeness.

Physical touch also plays a significant role in bedtime connection, and one of my favorite methods is using essential oils. Every night, we use essential oil rollers and I massage my kids’ feet with soothing oils before bed. Far from being a quiet, tranquil time, bedtime rituals often involve laughter and joy, especially with my youngest who finds immense delight in these moments. Studies have shown that these precious last minutes spent with your children not only strengthen your bond but also instill confidence and ease in them for the next day.

Bedtime becomes a safe haven where genuine connection flourishes, setting the stage for a peaceful and restful night’s sleep.

Kids Sleep Tip #4: Early To Bed

Prioritizing early bedtimes is essential for ensuring the well-being of your entire family. I personally experienced the benefits of this approach when I attended the Taking Cara Babies program in person with my youngest child at just two weeks old. Sleep training is indeed a valuable gift that fosters harmony and restfulness for everyone in the household.

There’s a natural dip in energy levels that occurs between 7-8 p.m., signaling the optimal time for children to transition to bed. While my youngest required an even earlier bedtime of 6 or 6:30 p.m. for years, it required dedicated effort and consistency on our part. Despite our love for weekend adventures and fun-filled activities, we prioritize maintaining early bedtimes, with rare exceptions of our kids staying up past 8 p.m.

To achieve success in this endeavor, meticulous planning is key. Mapping out the timing of dinner, activities, and other daily routines allows for a clear and consistent bedtime routine that the entire family can follow, ensuring a smooth transition to ‘lights out’ time.

Kids Sleep Tip #5: OK To Wake Clock

The O.K. To Wake Clock has been an absolute game-changer for our family, and I highly recommend it to anyone struggling with early morning wake-ups. Available on Amazon, this innovative clock features a blinking light that changes color to indicate when it’s okay for children to get out of bed. With green signaling the start of the day, yellow indicating quiet playtime in their room, and red signaling it’s still sleepy time, it’s especially helpful for kids who can’t yet tell time.

While it took some time for our youngest to adjust—about six weeks, to be exact—the consistency paid off, and our lives were transformed for the better. We’ve integrated the clock seamlessly into our routine, even bringing it along when we travel.

Whether it’s a sleepover at grandparents’ house or a stay in a hotel room, our youngest knows to stay in bed until the O.K. To Wake Clock signals it’s time to rise. It’s become an indispensable tool for our family, bringing a touch of magic to our mornings and ensuring smoother transitions throughout the day.

Sleep Tip Implementation

Implementing these five sleeping tips can truly revolutionize your family’s bedtime routine, but it’s essential to approach them with patience, consistency, and clear expectations. Here’s how to make it happen:

  1. Take it One Step at a Time: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a solid bedtime routine. Start by implementing one tip at a time, allowing your children—and yourself—to adjust gradually. Avoid overwhelming them or yourself by trying to change everything at once. Let each new habit build upon the last, setting the stage for long-term success.

2. Set Clear Expectations:

Communicate openly with your children about the changes you’re making to their bedtime routine and emphasize that these adjustments take time. Setting clear expectations helps manage everyone’s understanding of the process and fosters a sense of teamwork in achieving better sleep habits.

3. Be Consistent:

Consistency is key to success when it comes to bedtime routines. Any deviations or inconsistencies can prolong the adjustment period and confuse your children. Establish firm but loving boundaries around bedtime activities, ensuring that everyone knows what is expected of them both in the morning and at night.

4. Start the Night Before:

The groundwork for a successful bedtime routine begins long before bedtime itself. Take proactive steps the night before, such as preparing for the next day’s activities, laying out clothes, and setting the stage for a calm and peaceful evening. By establishing a relaxing environment and minimizing last-minute stressors, you set your family up for a smoother transition to bedtime.

Continuing The Conversation

By implementing these tips with care and consistency, you’ll create a bedtime routine that promotes restful sleep and sets the stage for a happier, healthier family dynamic. If you need help creating the systems that will nurture that healthier, happier family dynamic, Systemize Your Life is for you! Get systems in place and the whole family on board in 4 weeks!

Let’s keep the conversation going and give each other the motivation and inspiration in our Facebook community.

If you’re looking for more sleep tips, check out Bedtime Routine for Moms: The 3 Essential Spaces in Your Bedroom, Navigating Time Blocks – 3 Tips to Set You up for Success | Back to School Series and Self Care – What Is It and How Do We Make It Happen? Enjoy those morning minutes mama!

Get your kids to sleep longer

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my child has a hard time falling asleep at night?

Establishing a consistent bedtime routine can help. Avoid screens before bed, engage in calming activities like reading or playing quiet games, and create a relaxing environment in the bedroom. Become a student within Systemize Your Life to make room for connection and a morning routine!

Get your kids to sleep longer
Get your kids to sleep longer

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