If you’re looking for preschool sleep tips, you’re definitely not alone in your search. Around ages three and four, children go through a lot of growth and change. Unfortunately, that growth sometimes comes at the expense of a good night’s sleep. Your preschooler’s developing mind and body need sleep. Here are some of the top ways to make sure they get the sleep that they need.
Reconsider Nap Time
Most kids will gradually outgrow the need for a daytime nap. If your child still naps during the day, make sure that it’s for a short period of time. Also, consider moving that nap to an earlier time slot. You might also help your child shift gradually from “nap time” to “rest time.” Quiet playtime comes with a lot of benefits for kids, but daytime sleep may not be necessary for your preschool-aged child.
Use a Lot of Daytime Movement
During the day, make sure that your child gets a lot of playtime and exercise. It’s one of the most overlooked preschool sleep tips, but it can make a big difference. Your child will need some time to wind down and relax in the time between laying down and falling asleep. The more tired they are from daytime play, the easier it will be for them to drift off.
This strategy becomes even more effective when playtime happens outside. When your child is exposed to a lot of natural light, their body’s circadian rhythm adjusts accordingly. The circadian rhythm is how human bodies decide when it’s time to be asleep and when it’s time to be awake. A lot of light sends a signal that says “Hey, it’s daytime! Time to be awake!” This way, when nighttime shows up, your child’s body will know that enough time has passed and that it’s okay to get sleepy.
Wind Down in the Evening
While lots of movement is great throughout the day, make sure that your child starts settling down a few hours before bedtime. They might still play with blocks, dolls, or similar activities, but the running and jumping should stop. When people exercise, their brains release chemicals that make it tough to wind down. Calm play will make it easier for your child to relax when bedtime arrives.
Create a Relaxing Routine
Speaking of winding down, one of the most important preschool sleep tips is to create a calming, consistent routine. Find activities that help your child relax. For example, your child’s bedtime routine might include a calming bedtime story, listening to music, or arranging their stuffed animals. Whatever the routine, make sure that it’s calm. Read that story in a soothing voice. Encourage your child to say goodnight to their animals. Consistency matters just as much as calmness. Do the same routine in roughly the same order every night. Eventually, your child will associate these tasks with sleep, which will help them settle down and get some rest.
Talk to Your Pediatrician
If you’ve tried all of these preschool sleep tips and nothing seems to work, then you might talk to your child’s pediatrician about your child’s sleep struggle. Your child’s doctor can help you rule out any sleep disorders and provide additional tips.
Preschool Sleep Tips and More
Here at Legacy Academy, we offer all kinds of advice on eating, sleeping, learning, and more. Keep coming back for more advice and options. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for the best preschool environment, Legacy has what you need. Check out our Legacy locations and see if there’s a Legacy Academy in your area. We’d love to have you as part of the Legacy family.