5 Stimulants To Avoid At Bedtime

Written by James Kicinski-McCoy
1:41 pm
10/10/16

Photographed by Maria Del Rio

Creating a solid sleep routine for your children is necessary, but it’s often easier said than done. As parents, we want our kids not only to get plenty of sleep each night, but we also want to ensure that they are getting the very best rest possible to help them grow, learn, and achieve. In a sea of parenting advice across the Net, you will find countless bedtime tips and tricks, but at the end of the day, every child is unique and will react differently to various approaches. So, we thought we’d help eliminate some of the guess work and compile a list of things to avoid when trying to battle ‘lights out’ that almost all parents and experts can agree on.

Cut The Caffeine- Caffeine is a hot topic in the realm of parenting, but you know your child best when it comes to deciding if it’s okay for them to have it in moderation. Experts state that if you allow your child to have the occasional caffeinated sweet treat or beverage, to make sure that they don’t do so at least three hours before bed. Caffeine is a stimulant, and will likely have adverse effects on your child’s sleep patterns.

Watch The Sugar Intake- Does your little one ask for a snack before bedtime? Chances are the answer is yes and it’s happened on more than one occasion. The good news? Most experts state that a healthy snack is perfectly fine before bed, especially if it’s balanced, in line with their daily caloric intake, on the small side (portion-wise), and low in sugar. This will help ensure that your kiddo’s tummy is full, and not overly hyper and energetic when it comes time to sleep.

Turn The Screens Off- Whether it’s a smartphone, an iPad, or a TV there have been countless studies that show that limiting screen time before bed can help your kids fall asleep faster. Because we live in such a highly technological world, this one might be more a little difficult to implement for both your kids and yourself. Try establishing a “bedtime” for all electronics in the house 1-2 hours prior to lights out.

Avoid Late Night Activity- Exercise, like many of the other items on our list, is a stimulant. Therefore, it can amp up your kids as bedtime approaches. Try avoiding overly stimulating activity an hour or more before bed to ensure that your child is calm and relaxed as sleepy time draws near.

Bright Lights- Just like the glow from a lit up screen, if the lights in your home are excessively bright, it can disrupt your child’s ability to wind down for the night. Many parents try implementing “soft lights” by either dimming the lighting or using lamp light 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime.

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