How to keep your kids on a regular sleep routine to reduce stress

Apr 11, 2024, 6:03 PM | Updated: Apr 12, 2024, 2:07 pm

LEHI — Rebecca Page remembers some long nights.

“When he was young, he did not sleep,” she said. “I remember one night, I woke up the next day and I was like, ‘Wow, that was such a great night.’ I counted how many times I’d gotten up with him and had to pick him up. It was seven times.”

Page, a mom of 2-year-old William and 4-month-old Nicholas, is my cousin, and I’m happy to say after some sleep classes, and finding a regular sleep routine, both mom and dad helped William discover that sleeping is a breeze.

“I honestly think we just stuck with the routine,” she said.

Experts emphasize that sleep is therapy, both physically and emotionally, which is why it’s important to keep you and your kids on a regular sleep routine.

“You’re creating bedtime routines, evening routines that are potentially going to last a lifetime,” said Dr. Lori Neeleman, a sleep psychologist at Intermountain Health.

Neeleman said kids are never too young to start a relaxing bedtime and sleep routine – and nothing beats reading to them.

“Set aside that time,” Neeleman said. “It’s a beautiful time.”

Other ideas for a sleep routine

A warm bath does wonders.

Page regularly sings to her kids.

“I have a little phrase that I say to him every night,” she said. “I say, ‘Goodnight baby, mommy loves you. I’ll see you in the morning.’ Then I leave and he goes to sleep.”

Healthy sleep habits are much the same for kids as they are for adults.

  • Help your child wind down.
  • Create a comfortable room and room temperature.
  • Avoid caffeine and vigorous activity.
  • And turn off technology well before bedtime.

The holy grail of sleep tips

“You want it to be enjoyable and calming,” Neeleman said. “It’s a stressful world for kids to grow up in, and so, we want to make sure that they’re at least getting that kind of overnight therapy.”

Now, little William seems well on the way to developing a good sleep routine. And that’s having benefits for everyone in the family.

“When he started sleeping, we were able to sleep,” Page said. “That was the biggest thing for us. If he slept, then we could sleep.”

For more resources and sleep hygiene tips, visit the National Sleep Foundation or the American Academy of Pediatrics.

KSL TV had a conversation on Facebook Live with Dr. Tagrid Ruiz from the University of Utah Health and Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital about how new parents can de-stress.

How to get better sleep

KSL 5 TV Live

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How to keep your kids on a regular sleep routine to reduce stress