As part of its ongoing support to help families look after their mental wellbeing, Public Health England has launched new advice on its Every Mind Matters platform, aimed at helping people to sleep better.
This has been particularly challenging for some of us during the months of lockdown, with four in 10 of us struggling to sleep. Professor Colin Espie, sleep expert and Every Mind Matters ambassador, has put forward his Top 5 Principles, which are NHS-approved.
For more information, search ‘Every Mind Matters’ or visit https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/ to create your personalised Mind Plan.
. . . AND HOW TO ACHIEVE IT!
Meanwhile, home interiors specialists www.Hillarys.com offer seven top tips on how to help kids sleep during the lighter nights:
1. Tire them out during the day
Longer, drier days are perfect for tiring children out by keeping them active outside. If your child is over the age of four, try cutting down on naps or even cut them entirely.
2. Blackout curtains and blinds
Invest in some blackout blinds. When nights are bright, it’s hard for children’s brains to switch off and understand that it’s night-time and they should be sleeping. A blackout blind creates the perfect night-time effect. They’re also useful for earlier and brighter mornings to keep children asleep longer.
3. Create the right environment
Making kids’ bedroom cosy, with fluffy pillows and clean sheets, will help to coax them in to a good night’s sleep. They will be more inclined to get into bed and less likely to want to get out. Try to remove any distractions from their room. Technology and bright lights can interfere with getting off to sleep, whereas dim night lights and cuddly toys will help relax them.
4. Be consistent with bedtime routines
Whether your child goes to bed at 6pm or 8pm, make sure to keep that same bedtime routine even when the nights get lighter. They may feel it’s too early to go to bed, but it’s not. Remind them of the time and explain that just because it is light outside doesn’t mean they can stay up later.
When it’s hotter outside than it is indoors, try keeping windows closed so your home doesn’t become too warm. Invest in a thinner duvet and a fan that will help keep the air flowing. A pair of light summer pyjamas will also make your child feel more comfortable at night.
6. White noise
Bland background noise can really help kids to drift off to sleep. It will also help distract them from any other noise in and around the house. There are many free videos available on YouTube that you can play to help them sleep, or you could invest in a white noise machine.
7. Reduce sugar levels
You wouldn’t drink a cup of coffee right before bed, so don’t give your children sweets. If your kid likes a dessert after dinner, try to find one with low to no sugar. These are less likely keep them awake.