Preparing for Sleep and the Role of Music
Sleep is one of the most talked about topics for young children. We live in a society that tends to be sleep deprived. Around 25% of young children have sleep problems. How much sleep should young children get? What are some ways to promote healthy sleeping routines and what role does music provide to a child’s pre-bed time?
According to the CDC, infants up to age one should be getting 12 to 16 hours of sleep, including naps; toddlers, 11 to 14 hours; and preschoolers 10 to 13 hours. Practicing healthy sleep hygiene can help promote lifelong success with sleeping habits. Sleep hygiene is defined as having both a bedroom environment and daily routines that promote consistency and uninterrupted sleep. Here are some tips to practice good sleep hygiene:
- Be consistent throughout your day. Routines help young children make sense of their world and prepare for transitions. The end of the day routine might look like taking a bath, putting on their cozy pajamas, reading a story, listening to or singing some music, and a final snuggle before lights out.
- Create a calming environment to change the mood. Dim the lights in their bedroom to indicate it is time to relax. Turn on some soft, quiet music at the end of the day to signal it is time to get ready for bed.
- Create your own playlist of soothing music to listen to. When designing your playlist, consider the tempo, or speed, of the music. Studies have suggested that slower music, 60-80 BPM, help the body relax.
- Listen to lullabies. Lullabies are a very powerful sleeping tool. Not only can they strengthen the emotional bond with the parent, they can also lower the heart rate of the child, slow breathing, quiet their nervous system, ease muscle tension, and release sleep friendly hormones like serotonin and oxytocin.
- Once you have completed your sleep hygiene routine, allow your child to finish putting themselves to sleep. This is how they learn to self-soothe.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention