Bedtime really should be the most relaxing and peaceful time of the day. The point where you get to put all of your hard work behind you and gradually wind down to enjoy some truly nourishing sleep.
However, if you've got kids then it can often be a little more taxing. They'll suddenly get a renewed burst of energy and become amazingly focused on the task of staying as far from the bedroom as possible!
So what can you do to help ease the passage from daytime activities to a harmonious bedtime for all of the family? Here are a few pointers.
Start a routine
We are all biological beings, and as such our bodies can be programmed to automatically know when we should sleep. Whilst there is no precise number as to how much sleep we should get, the NHS has a few guidelines.
From a newborn baby who sleeps eight hours a day, and a further eight and a half hours per night, there is a gradual reduction in sleep so that a four-year will need around eleven and a half hours per night.
This decreases further until the age of sixteen where eight hours sleep becomes the desirable figure in order to function healthily the next day.
And as such, fixing mealtimes and bedtimes is an excellent idea to ensure that you and your children start to feel sleepy at the right time whether you want to or not!
The sleeping environment
Your child's bedroom should as be kept as distraction-free as possible. Be sure to get decent, thick curtains that block out any light from outside. If they feel the need for a nightlight, make sure it is dim or red, as the brain is less sensitive to this kind of light.
If noise from outside the bedroom is an issue, then think of installing some speakers that can play soft, continuous music to mask any distracting sounds.
And of course, having a comfortable bed is very important. Nobody is going to get quality sleep on a lumpy mattress, so be sure to invest in a quality new bed and you'll see great results in no time.
Making sure that there is a natural winding-down period before bedtime is also important. If your house has visitors, make sure that they stay away from the children's bedroom around bedtime.
Also, providing your child with a regular bathtime or storytime sessions before bed is a great way to spend quality time and make sure that they go to bed feeling relaxed and fulfilled.
And finally, it's been revealed that LCD screens in devices like smartphones and tablets all have a negative effect on our ability to sleep. So make sure that your child has no screen time at least one hour before bed, and try and ban computers from the bedroom!