Kids sleep: how to improve it 

We’ve all had those moments where we’ve been willing our children to just give in and go to sleep. But what can you do when your child’s sleep (or lack of) is a constant source of frustration? 

Who knew that you’d spend so much time and energy thinking about your little one’s sleep before you had kids?! Getting the kids to sleep can be a battle sometimes, one that you might feel you’re not equipped to win.  

Why is sleep so important? 

Sleep is incredibly important for growing children, helping with the development of their mental and physical health. It plays a big part in memory, attention and learning, and who hasn’t seen how grumpy kids get when they haven’t slept well? 

Some of us find it more difficult than others to sleep well. This can be down to a myriad of factors, but there are some things we can do to make a good night’s sleep more likely. 

Creating a good sleep environment 

Where you sleep can have a big effect on how you sleep. Make sure your child’s bedroom is an oasis of calm: 

  • Temperature. Make sure the room isn’t too hot or too cold.  
  • Noise. Ok, so you can’t control noise made by neighbours or traffic, but you can try and control the noise in your home. Turn down the TV when your child has gone to bed and close their bedroom door so they’re less likely to hear the rest of the family’s activity. 
  • Light. A good pair of curtains or a blind is crucial for a good night’s sleep, as any light pouring in from windows could keep your child awake.  
  • Banish gadgets and toys. Your child is bound to have loads of toys in their room but try and make it difficult for them to get out of bed at night to start playing. Put any toys on the floor away before bed, and don’t allow them to watch TV or play on devices in their room before bed as the harsh blue light from screens will keep them awake and disrupt their sleep. 

Other things to try 

  • Get into a routine. Think about things you can do to calm your child down before bed. Give them a warm bath, read them a story and give them plenty of cuddles before bed (which might be easier with smaller children!) so that they feel properly relaxed and ready to drift off. 
  • Positive reinforcement. If your child has a problem with getting out of bed throughout the night, calling for you every 5 minutes or staying up late reading or messaging their friends, give them plenty of praise when they don’t do these things.  
  • See a doctor. If you’re really struggling with your child’s sleeping habits and it’s starting to affect their behaviour at home or at school, make an appointment to see a doctor so you can rule out any underlying conditions that may be affecting their sleep. 


Are you and your family looking for some extra support with your heath and wellbeing? Take a look at our family programme, for Nottingham City residents. Get the guidance you need to lead a healthier life together.