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We are not early risers around here. I know I have shared with you before that I am NOT a morning person. Well, my kids really aren’t either. I am lucky to say that they aren’t up at the crack of dawn ready to go. They love to sleep a little bit later, but that is probably because they don’t get to sleep early the night before! This can be a challenge if you have a home FULL of insomniacs. If our kids can’t fall asleep, that seems to extend everyone’s bedtimes even later. My husband and I struggle to find time to spend together if we don’t stay up late to do it.
We have 4 kids, ages 16, 11, 8 and 5. My goal is to have everyone (other than my teen) in their beds and ASLEEP by 9pm. This can be quite the challenge as the 5 and 8 year old share a room. One of them is always talking to the other. Here are some things that we have been working on around here that is helping them to fall asleep earlier.
No electronics before bed:
We try to make sure that the tv is turned off and that no video games or tablets are played at least an hour before bed time. This helps their brains to start to wind down before they go to sleep.
Bible Verses and Prayers:
We have a pretty good bedtime routine down. After everyone is ready for bed, the little girls pile into one room for devotions, bible verses and prayer time. My husband reads them a short devotional or the verse of the day from his Bible App. I also like to find Bible Verses that pertain to things they may be struggling with and pray and read those over them before bedtime.
Here are some great printable Bible verses on fear, if your little ones struggle with being scared at night:
Do Not Fear! Printable Scripture Posters from Homeschool Encouragement
Scriptures for When You Feel Afraid from Not Consumed
FREE Printable Memory Verse Cards for When I Can’t Sleep from Rachel Wojo
Directly after Bible and prayer time, my husband sprays their pillows and a favorite stuffed animal with sleepy spray. This stuff really works! If we forget to use it, they are up much later than normal. I make my own sleepy spray. We love it so much that we even spray it on our sheets before we climb into bed.
Ingredients to make your own sleepy spray:
1 Glass Amber Spray Bottle – the amber glass bottle protects the essential oils from degrading from light. This is a great size that doesn’t run out quickly.
1 1/2 cups of water
2 tbsps. of witch hazel
16 drops of your favorite sleep essential oil blend.
We use this one and absolutely love it! Very affordable and works great. I also use this on their forehead and feet if they seem particularly antsy that evening.
I use a small funnel to pour the ingredients into the glass bottle, then secure the sprayer lid and shake well.
You can get the full details on how to make this spray here:
DIY Comfort Spray
Put them to bed a good 30 minutes before you want them to be asleep and let them read or listen to music:
If I want everyone asleep by 9, then I put them down at 8:30. My 8 and 5 yo like to listen to quiet Christian music before they go to sleep. It really calms them and helps them to not be all chatty with each other. My 11 yo likes to read before she goes to bed. A lot of her books are on her Kindle Fire Tablet.
I was so excited to find out that the new tablets and the brand new updates to the operating system come with Blue Shade!
Blue Shade uses specialized filters to limit exposure to blue light. It also offers warm color filters and the ability to lower the display brightness to an ultra-low level for comfortable nighttime reading—even in a dark room. The feature can be easily turned on or off with a single tap on the Blue Shade quick setting. Customers can also fine-tune the color settings to their personal preference, with the device intelligently adjusting the color filtering so that at any color or brightness, the blue wavelength light is always suppressed.
With the new Blue Shade turned on my daughter can now use her Kindle Fire Tablet before bed for the perfect nighttime reading.
These have all been very helpful in getting our kids to sleep a little earlier. The main thing is consistency. I hope this helped you with some ideas if your children struggle with falling asleep.