How COVID-19 is Affecting Children's Sleep Hygiene
Restrictions imposed in the fight against COVID-19 have had myriad negative affects on everyone and this is no less true for children. Recent research carried out by The Sleep Charity has shown that children are experiencing a worrying escalation in sleep issues, with bedtimes becoming later, big increases in screen-time and anxiety levels at an all-time high.
Big changes in routine, such as schools being closed and parents adapting to working from home, are to blame for these problems. With another national lockdown now in place, the problems look set to continue but there are lots of ways in which you can help. This issue of the Odd Size Beds blog looks at just some of them.
- However difficult it may seem, its absolutely essential that your children stick to consistent times for going to bed and waking up. The body clock NEEDS routine to function to its optimum potential. If these times have drifted as a result of COVID-19, start to adjust them back to normal slowly; around 15 minutes every few days should get them back on track.
- Another crucial way in which the body clock is regulated is by exposure to natural light, which helps us wake up properly and suppresses sleep hormones. Encourage children to get outside for a minimum of half an hour each morning.
- The hour before bedtime MUST become a screen-free zone. That means no TV, no games consoles, no computers and no mobile phones. All of these screens emit a certain wavelength of light that tricks the body into thinking it's daytime, making us feel more alert. You can also benefit from some screen-free time: lead by example!
- Children can be helped to relax with a bath, followed by a warm milky drink. Reading to them is also an effective way to help them wind down.
- Bedroom lights should be switched off or replaced by a dim nightlight. A lack of light encourages the body to begin producing the sleep hormone melatonin.
- The quality of your child's bed is absolutely key in ensuring that they have a good, restful sleep each night. Odd Size Beds offer a variety of beds styled for children, such as the Candy divan bed set which is available in a range of fun colour options and comes complete with a high-quality open-coil mattress. Or you could go for one of the super-sturdy Football or Teddy motif wooden bed frames, both of which can be inscribed with your child's name without any extra charge. There are two different types of mattress available separately to suit these frames.
Check out the Odd Size Beds website to discover our complete collection of children's bed frames, bed sets and mattresses. For more informative articles like this one, please subscribe to receive our free, regular and feature-packed newsletter.