The Importance of a Bedtime Routine

Lights out-- it’s past your bedtime!

Bedtime is that wonderful space between when the day is done and it’s time to sleep. While creating a bedtime routine or sleep schedule may be difficult for some, it’s essential for child development, not to mention it makes parents less cranky during the 6 am toddler wakeup calls. Here we'll uncover the benefits of a bedtime routine plus give you tips on creating a soothing and serene schedule that will have everyone waking up on the right side of bed. 

What Is a Bedtime Routine Exactly? 

A bedtime routine is simply the set of soothing activities you do by yourself or with your child before bed. Most parents maintain a similar pre-bedtime ritual for their children. These generally include dinner, a bath, books, and a lullaby. Bedtime routines help signal the brain that it’s time to wind down for the night. 

While things in life may arise and force us to deviate from our routine, parents should try to maintain consistency, as schedules provide children with a sense of security. Bedtime routines allow kids to practice healthy habits they can bring with them later in life. Jodi Mindel, Ph.D. and Associate Director of the Sleep Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, urges the importance of consistency, saying “It’s like other healthy practices: Doing something just one day a week is good, doing it for three days a week is better, and doing it every day is best.”

The Benefits of A Bedtime Routine 

Bedtime routine tips from Warmies.

While creating and sticking to a routine may be tricky, particularly for parents who work full time, the benefits of a bedtime routine for children are compelling. Below are the many reasons to create a schedule and stick with the sleepytime program. 

Kids Sleep Better! 

A study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine showed that kids who have a daily bedtime routine may fall asleep easier, earlier, and for longer with fewer interruptions throughout the night. The sleep quality of kids with a bedtime ritual is better than their counterparts, and this positive effect carries on for years. 

It Teaches Self-Care & Self-Soothing  

'Self-care' is a relatively new buzzword. However, learning to self-soothe and care for oneself is a pillar of being a healthy human being! By maintaining a bedtime routine, parents foster self-care skills and lay the groundwork for helping kids thrive later on in life. 

Better Sleep Leads To Better Focus 

We all know how crummy it feels after we miss a night of sleep, so it makes sense that this would be true for kids, too! Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep makes maintaining focus a struggle. The National Library of Medicine posted an article covering the negative effects of poor sleep on kids, not only for their ability to pay attention but also on memory and other cognitive skills. 

Promotes Family Bonding 

The sweet cuddles shared between a family at the end of each day are as heartwarming as it is good for your kiddo's health! The Sleep Foundation wrote that bedtimes “...foster parent-child bonding and may help improve mood, stress levels, and behavior.” A consistent bedtime routine lets kids know you’ll always be there for them, which unsurprisingly helps them feel assured, developing into more confident, happy adults. 

Bedtime Isn't Just For Kids! 

Creating a bedtime routine isn't just for kids, it's a game-changer for adults too. Often referred to as 'Sleep Hygiene', setting a sleep schedule is vital for your overall health and well-being.  

Choose a reasonable hour, create a routine, and stick to the schedule – even on weekends. This will regulate your internal clock and let you wake up on the right side of the bed, feeling rested and ready for a new day. Your bedtime routine can look however you like, as long as it relaxes you. If possible, try to create a screen-free schedule with activities such as reading a book or sipping herbal tea. 

Warmies Tips on Making Bedtime Better

The lucky ones have no issues falling asleep, but for others, it can feel like we’re living in Sleepless in Seattle. If you or your kiddo struggles with bedtime, there are plenty of ways to ease the process! Below are our tricks for making bedtime a soothing experience that ends with sweet dreams. 

Set the Scene 

Nothing will disrupt a bedtime like loud, ambient noises and bright lights. If you or your child is a light sleeper, we highly suggest putting up some blackout curtains and grabbing a noise machine if possible. Adults may also want to consider getting a weighted eye mask. Warmies Eye Mask is chillable, microwavable, and scented with lavender to promote sleep. 

Microwavable sleep masks and Warmies plush stuffed animals.

Take Your Time! 

Most parents will tell you that trying to rush through bedtime is simply impossible. It can add stress to the situation, which is the opposite of what we want. Instead, try to start the bedtime routine 30-60 minutes before you want them (or yourself) to be asleep. 

Read, Don’t Watch 

It’s now widely known that the light from screens can harm our circadian rhythms. However, there’s another reason stories have remained a bedtime staple: when we read or listen to a story, our minds work to imagine and understand. This helps quiet the mental chatter and puts us in a space for sleep. 

Grab a Bedtime Buddy 

Bedtime buddies are a lifesaver for children who are afraid of the dark or families transitioning out of co-sleeping. Bringing home a new stuffed animal, such as Warmies, can create more positive connotations with falling asleep. Yes, even adults can benefit from a bedtime buddy! Warmies Stuffed Animals are microwavable for hours of warmth, weighted for comfort with flaxseed, and gently scented with soothing French lavender to promote rest and relaxation. If you have a toddler, check out My First Warmies, which have the same features as the plush with a softer satin fabric. 

Heatable stuffed animals for bedtime.

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again

Whether it is your little one who just can't seem to settle down at night, or it’s you who is trying to hit the hay earlier, bedtimes can be hard– at first! The most important part of a successful bedtime routine is consistency. Our bodies need time to adjust which means sticking to it. Adults will adjust in around 2-4 days while kids may need a week or more before they fully adapt. 

Creating a bedtime routine helps us quiet our thoughts, slow down, and drift off to better quality sleep.

Remember: the better the bedtime routine, the brighter the morning.

Sweet dreams!