sure bedtime is at the same time every night. Children feel
safe and are much more likely to be good sleepers when they
have a consistent bedtime and a predictable bedtime routine.
It helps ensure that they get enough sleep while giving
their world a sense of order.
weekends, don’t vary bedtime for more than an hour
each night. This creates a kind of “jet lag”
in your child when Monday rolls around. If necessary, plan
activities for weekend mornings so your child has a reason
to get out of bed.
to limit active play, television, video-game playing and
computer time for an hour or two before bed.
your child five or ten minutes before their bedtime routine
begins so they can finish what they are doing.
a customized bedtime ritual that you and your child can
participate in every night. Choose quiet, relaxing activities
like telling stories, singing songs, stretching or saying
prayers. For instance, your ritual may include telling a
short story, singing a song and then saying a prayer. You
can change the story, song and prayer but keep the order
the same each night.
care of your child’s physical needs so there’s
no reason to get out of bed. Make sure he or she is wearing
comfortable pajamas and has a favorite stuffed animal or
blanket within reach. Some children like to have a glass
of water by the bed, the door slightly open or a nightlight
air in your child’s room should be fairly cool –
around sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit. If the air is particularly
dry, use a vaporizer.
older brothers or sisters are allowed to stay up later,
make sure they’re doing quiet activities that don’t
disturb the younger sibling.
your child’s room while they’re still awake
so they can learn to settle themselves. If this is a problem
for your child, practicing the Floppy Sleep Game exercises
will systematically teach children to relax and fall asleep
on their own.
“The Dream Maker” by People magazine, Patti
Teel is a former teacher and the author of The Floppy Sleep
Game Book, which gives parents techniques to help their
children relax or fall asleep. She is holding Dream Academy
workshops at schools, hospitals, and libraries across the
country where parents and children learn the playful relaxation
techniques from her book and widely acclaimed children’s
audio series. Children at the Dream Academy workshops practice
the three R’s by resting their bodies, relaxing their
minds, and refreshing their spirits. Visit her online at