Getting your kids into the routine of healthy sleep is an important act for the whole family.
Good sleep quality and quantity is fundamental to the physical and mental development of all children from babies to toddlers and beyond. This means that it’s important to know two things; firstly, how much sleep kids should be getting and at what age, and secondly to how to get kids to wind down effectively, ready for bedtime. Nailing both of these is key, however – as all of us know – knowing how much sleep kids need is one thing, but actually getting them settled for long enough to meet those guidelines day-in-day out, is a whole other ballgame.
Fortunately, there are many natural techniques out there that can help us to manage bedtimes. In this blog post we’ll share information about how much sleep kids should get each night based on their age group, as well as our 8 natural ways to help kids get to sleep – and enjoy bedtimes!
How much sleep should kids get each day?
The amount of sleep it is recommended that children get is dependent on their age group. Guidelines suggest:
Newborns (0-3 months) – 14-17 hours (including naps)
Infant (4-12 months) – 12-16 hours (including naps)
Toddler (1-2 years) – 11-14 hours (including naps)
Preschoolers (3-5 years) – 10-13 hours (including naps)
School Age (6-12 years) – 9-12 hours
Achieving these hours, however can be a real challenge. A US National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) showed that between 25.2-52.5% of all children in the US were not getting enough sleep each night. State-by-state results showed Minnesota as the best at 25.2% prevalence of lack of sleep, while Mississippi faired the worst scoring 52.5% prevalence.
How to help kids sleep better – tried and tested techniques
In a busy world, getting everything done in a day with enough time to wind down before bed can seem impossible. To try and help parents and kids get enough sleep, we have created a wide range of calming bedtime content for kids. This includes bedtime yoga routines which support relaxation before bed and encourage pleasant dreams, through to guided relaxations and mindfulness sessions which help kids understand key elements of a healthy night sleep. These are all 100% natural sleep aids for kids which they enjoy and see as a treat – things they can do which help them to help themselves.
Many of these resources are available for free on YouTube (NB with ads and among all the other content on YouTube). All of them are also available on the Cosmic Kids App – ad-free in our lovely walled garden away from YouTube! We do recommend using interruption-free options where possible when it comes to digesting content for bedtime, sleep and relaxation purposes, so that the calming environment created isn’t interrupted.
Guided relaxations at Bedtime
Guided relaxations are one of the best ways to naturally prepare for bedtime and a good night’s sleep. Our series Peace Out is perfect for a calming down moment either before bedtime or once the kids are in bed. A peaceful guided relaxation before bed can be a game-changer.
Thousands of parents and children use these guided relaxations as part of their bedtime routines every day to wind down after a busy day. These can be done individually or as a family to help everyone relax, feel calm and look forward to a good night’s rest.
Try our Moon and Stars Guided Relaxation.
Kids can really enjoy dreams and the concept of dreams, finding joy in the idea of nodding off into a dream world. Just like an interactive bedtime story, an audio sleep adventure takes the mind away from any stresses or anxious thoughts, leaving the mind calm and ready for bed.
Join Jaime on adventures to magical lands in sensory and wonderfully slumberful stories. Calming bedtime spoken word adventures which help kids feel safe, calm and connected to their imagination – the perfect prelude to peaceful dreams.
These are available on Spotify as streaming audio or within the Cosmic Kids App as video.
Yoga is a great way of calming down after a busy day and has been proven to improve sleep quality for people in all age groups. It relaxes the body as well as the mind, with a study from Harvard University showing that 55% of people who did yoga before bed noted improved sleep quality, while 85% reported feeling less stressed.
All of our yoga adventures finish extremely calmly too as Jaime guides the children to lie down and relax as we recap on what we’ve learnt in the adventure today.
We have 3 suitable bedtime yoga adventures which are focused on sleep.
- Encouraging a positive bedtime routine – Tommy the Bedtime Turtle
- 2. Not being afraid of the dark – Fernando the Silver Fox
3. Having Lovely Dreams
Ten minutes before bed
The ten minutes before bed is an important time for winding down. No matter how relaxed you felt during the hours before, it’s possible to become restless and distracted at this point. If you struggle post eating and bathing etc. to maintain a sense of calm, then try and set up a calming activity in that 10-minutes before bed time slot.
Our Bop the Alien Yoga Adventure is a brilliant idea – a story with a countdown, allowing 10 minutes of yoga before bed. It’s a wonderful story in a peaceful setting – with a countdown clock taking us to bedtime.
If you need more help finding natural ways to help your child settle down, relax and unwind before bed, then check out our App – just search ‘Cosmic Kids’ on any App Store or check it out on desktop here. The App includes our Zen Den and Peace Out series, as well as all of the bedtime yoga adventures mentioned above, completely free of ads. So whether you’re looking for help with your nighttime routine, some bedtime yoga, mindfulness videos or meditation videos that will improve sleep quality and quantity, then download your copy today.