Help! My Child is a Night Owl, What Do I Do?

Does it seem that even though you wore your child out with a long day at the park and time on the backyard trampoline, he still won’t sleep at night?  Chances are that your child is a night owl.  So, My Child is a Night Owl, What Do I Do?

My Child is a Night Owl

There are several reasons why many children struggle with getting to bed even when they are in their rooms.  A lack of structure during the nighttime routine could be one reason.  If you set a bedtime for 8 p.m. but you let your child go to bed two hours later on some nights, then the schedule is inconsistent and can cause issues with sleep.  Here are some ways to help your night owl get more sleep.

Maintain a Consistent Routine

One of the best ways to improve your child’s sleep is by setting and maintaining a consistent bedtime routine. Start by giving him dinner right before 6 p.m., and then around 6:30 he’ll have a relaxing bath.  Then at 7 he would put on his nightclothes and brush his teeth. Around 7:30, you can read a story to him, recite prayers, and tuck him in his bed.  By 8 p.m., he may or may not be sleeping but he’ll know that at that time,  he needs to be in bed even if he doesn’t want to.

Eliminate the Screens

Another thing you should do is not let your kid watch TV,  browse on the computer, or use his smartphone at least an hour before bedtime.  The blue light from these devices will make it difficult for your child to settle down and be ready for sleep.  Replace the screens with more relaxing activities such as tidying up their rooms,  doing puzzles, singing songs, or telling stories.  You can also read to him until he falls asleep.

My Child is a Night Owl, and this is one of the best tips.

Add Something Special to Bedtime Routine

Another thing you can do is add a special ritual to make your child’s bedtime routine fun.  You might tell him stories about your childhood every night if this is something that interests him.  Or you might sing his favorite songs with him before he falls asleep.  This gives him something to look forward to when the bedtime routine starts.

Put a Night Light in the Room

If your child is scared of sleeping in a dark room, it’s a good idea to place a nightlight in his room, so he can feel at ease.  After your child is asleep, turn the nightlight off.  He needs to learn how to stay asleep in a totally dark room, and you don’t want to waste energy by leaving the light on for hours.

Reduce His Caffeine Intake

You don’t want to feed your child a heavy meal right before bedtime, but you should also not give him caffeinated beverages at night.  This is because caffeine is a stimulant that will only make him stay up longer, and you will have a hard time getting him to sleep at a decent time.  This is also why you shouldn’t give him sugary treats right before bedtime.

Wear Them Out During the Day

Make sure that your child isn’t too sedentary during the day.  Create a morning and afternoon routine where your child is getting in enough physical activity.  Let him spend an hour outside jumping on the trampoline, playing tag with his siblings, or playing ball with his dad.  If it’s raining, you can have a dance party in the living room or basement.  Let your child jump on his bed to burn extra energy before dinner.  You can also bring him to the park or an indoor gym.

Thanks for reading Help! My Child is a Night Owl, What Do I Do? These strategies are helpful in maintaining a consistent and effective bedtime routine for your night owl.

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