Kids never want to go to bed on time, especially on the weekend, but an expert has shared advice on how to tackle the problem.
They want to play and mess and literally do anything but the winding down that I want them to do.
I mean; popular sleep advice always encourages that – calming down and relaxing by any means possible. So I diffuse lavender oil, I turn off the TV plenty of time before bedtime, I read stories, you name it, I have tried it. Yet often it seems the harder I try to get them to calm down, the giddier they become.
However, I might have just been doing something totally wrong by trying to stop their giddiness and calm them down. It seems, according to experts, that we should let kids have a good, aul’ laugh and giggle before bedtime. Not only will letting them laugh and be silly save us a lot of effort trying to not get them to do this, but it might also even help them sleep better afterward.
Just like crying releases emotions and makes us feel calmer after, so does laughter.
This is what Dr. Deborah Macnamara has to say in her book, Rest Play Grow:
“When children get to laugh and play freely, with lots of warmth and attention from the adults around them, they tend to sleep very well.”
And children, just like us, can actually have a lot of emotions to process before going to sleep at night.
“A busy day at daycare or preschool means your child may need extra time to wind down,” says Macnamara.
“When children take a long time to fall asleep at night, wake regularly in the night, or too early in the morning, it’s often a sign that they have emotions to process. When they get giggly in the evening, they are naturally doing what they need to do in order to sleep well.”
In fact, studies have shown that laughter lowers blood pressure, triggers the release of endorphins, and contributes to lowering stress hormones – meaning, a giggle-filled bedtime can actually help kids – and us too – de-stress and sleep better once we fall asleep.
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