Trouble sleeping? Use this sleeping checklist

By Amalie Lillienthal Bønding -

Does your child have trouble falling asleep at night or does your child generally have trouble sleeping through the night? Many children and adults experience sleep loss which can be very annoying and it can affect your mood and ability to function during the day.

Trouble sleeping

Luckily there are many different ways for you to improve your own or your child’s sleep. In our program on sleep you will get different tools and exercises on how you can deal with the exact troubles your child is experiencing. In this blogpost you will get an introduction to one of exercises you can find in our programme on sleep.

We have named it the Sleeping checklist – it’s a tool that helps children as well as adults as to improve their sleep.

The sleeping checklist is a short list of questions which you and your child must answer every night before bedtime. The questions concern whether or not the child has their basic need met before bedtime.

The best conditions for a good night’s sleep

The three main conditions for a good night’s sleep is: 1) not being thirsty or hungry, 2) a nice cool temperature in the bedroom, 3) dimmed lighting and 4) quietness.

No hunger or thirst

Your sleep will be disturbed by a hungry or thirsty stomach. The best thing is to eat and drink enough during the day, and make sure that your child doesn’t eat or drink too much just before bedtime, this will keep the child awake in the same way as when they are hungry or thirsty. Also, try and avoid stimulation beverages such as, coke, tea or cocoa in the evening.

A nice cool temperature in the bedroom

The temperature in the bedroom plays a very important role in how you sleep. Experiment with the temperature and see if the child prefers a cooler or a warmer bedroom. Do remember to adjust the temperature before bedtime or dress the child differently.

Dimmed lights or turned off

It can be difficult falling asleep if there is too much light in the room, especially during summertime where it’s light outside until late at night. If that is the case, then buy some thicker or darker curtains to block out the light or a sleeping mask for the child.

Quietness

Falling asleep while being surrounded by a lot of noise is difficult. Notice how much noise there is in the room where your child sleeps. Is there a lot of noise, will closing the door help or could you carpet the floor and fill the room with pillows – this will help soundproofing the room.

Sleeping checklist

The aim of the sleeping checklist is to have you kid say ‘no’ to every question before going to sleep.

“No” to the child being hungry or thirsty.
“No” to the room being too cold or too warm.
“No” to there being too much light.
And “no” to there being too much noise.

The more questions your child say no to, the better chance he or she will have of getting a good night’s sleep.  If your child does answer ‘yes’ to one or more of the questions then at least you guys will know what to fix before bedtime.

In the sleeping checklist below you and your child will find different examples of how to optimize your sleeping conditions if the answer to one or more questions is ‘yes’.

  Yes/No If yes – How do I fix it?
Am I hungry or thirsty?   Eat a piece of fruit or drink a glass of water. Don’t eat a huge meal or drink soda, coffee or tea just before bedtime, because this can be stimulating which will keep you awake.
Is your room too cold or too hot? Many people sleep better in a cool environment than what they prefer when they are awake.  Turn down the heat or open a window before going to sleep. If it’s too cold then put on some extra clothes or turn the heat up a bit.
Is the light too bright in your room? Falling asleep while it’s still light outside can be difficult. Try buying some darker curtains that will keep the light out. If you don’t have any curtains then ask your parents for some.
Is there too much noise when you are trying to fall asleep? If there are too much noise when you are trying to fall asleep the close try closing the door to your room or stuffing the room with blankets and pillows might do the trick – they soundproof the room.

The sleeping checklist questions how you and your child usually sleep in order to improve your sleep.