In today’s article, I will give you 10 unique tips and suggestions to improve your children’s rooms to help ensure they get the best sleep possible. Better sleep means happier children!
Last week a family friend and professional Nanny, Lora, stopped by to say hi, catch up and give some hugs to the boys, also known as her “little dudes.” Soon after she arrived, the boys wanted to show her their room (they share it) and I immediately said to her, “don’t judge me by the condition of their room!” It was a disaster: Toys piled up on their bed, stuffed animals all over their dresser, Legos on the floor, and so on. You get the point. Any way, she gracefully checked out their fish tank, their cool toys, their costumes and other treasures they stash in their room. She soon emerged and asked me. “Are they still good sleepers?”
I replied, “Yes” but then I corrected myself and said, “Well, after they finally do fall asleep. They’ve been staying up a bit later bouncing, playing and giggling. Why do you ask?”
She then told me how her mom never let her have toys in her room because her room was for sleeping (with the exception of a lovie/teddy bear and some books). She then noted that she recommends the same for her nanny children’s rooms, to help them do get more rest. Apparently, I forgot the rules once they became preschoolers (she use to be their nanny).
To make a long story even longer, Here are a few tips (some I follow, some I didn’t) that this super nanny gave me on how to decorate a child’s room for a more zen like setting for sleeping.
- Practice a Bit of Feng Shui and Remove Clutter – I know it is difficult to keep a room clean but picking up helps remove distractions. Removing slumber-sapping items from your child’s bedroom—like light-generating TV, singing, light up toys, distracting “ACTION” posters and action figures (at least stash them away at night). I need to work on this in our home.
- Add a Sound Machine – This helps block out outside noises that can interrupt sleep
- Use Black-Out Curtains – Especially in the summer when it stay light out longer and to block that brilliant morning light that can deprive us of crucial REM sleep.
- Select a Calming Color for the Walls – Select a soothing shade in the cool color family, like blues, green or purple. To prevent that fresh-paint scent from keeping you alert, choose a low- or zero-VOC paint. Here is a link to check out what colors represent.
- Boost Their Egos – Hang personal artwork, awards, indicators of achievement. If they are having a hard time getting rid of the Spider Man poster (or other action based poster), have them draw or paint their own. It is bound to be less distracting and it will display their talent.
- Comfortable Bedding – This one can be tough but if you can, do your best not to select action figure, cartoon, busy pattern bedding that can over stimulate. Instead, have them help select a favorite color or combination of colors. Comfortable, allergen-free linens are also a plus.
- Display Calming Toys – Again, keep active games, action figures out of sight and keep comforting toys like stuffed animals and fun books.
- Display Photos of Family – The first thing they see in the morning and the last thing they see at night should be a reminder of security and love.
- Add a Dog Bed – If you have a family pet, let them have their own bed. Sleeping with an animal reduces sleep. A study released by the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center found that about half the patients in the study had a dog or cat, and 53% of those pet owners said their pets disturbed their sleep in some way nightly. Don’t let Fido steal precious sleep from your kids.
- Ensure That Your Child Has a Comfortable Temperature – The room should be at a good sleep temperature of around 60-65ºF). I’ve pointed this out before, sleeping cooler is one of the best ways to naturally fall asleep as our body prepares for sleep. The same is true for children.
One more tip she gave me:
Avoid using bed as a source of punishment for time-outs. Children will associate being sent to bed with bad experiences and this could hamper their desire to go to bed and sleep. OOPS, I’ve broken that room a few times.
Lora, thanks for the reminder and thanks for not judging me for how ridiculous messy their room was (and the rest of the house).