Last updated on April 3rd, 2024

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Kim West, MSW, Mom of 2, creator of The Sleep Lady Shuffle

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Are electronic screens staring into you or your child’s eyes until moments before dozing off?  There’s a growing body of evidence that these electronics can fool our brains into thinking that it’s daytime!  Some research suggests that bright lights before bed can throw off our melatonin production and our circadian rhythms. We are just simply biologically hardwired to be awake when there is light. No wonder they may cause toddler sleep problems!
So why does this matter to us a parents? Frequently parents use a television show to help their children wind-down, and more and more parents are now reading kids nighttime books on the iPad. However, these nighttime rituals could be making bedtime more difficult for them…and you! Electronics and sleep don’t mix.
So I’d recommend implementing good sleep hygiene, and ban bedside electronics for everyone in the household, especially if your kids are having trouble falling to sleep. Try switching them to reading a book before bed. If it helps, you can blame it on me and say, “The Sleep Lady says no more TV or iPad right before bed.”
So here’s a list of great activities to incorporate into your child’s bedtime rituals to help prepare their bodies for a good night’s sleep (3 from this list is plenty):

  • bath
  • massage
  • sing a short song
  • play a quiet game
  • share three things about your day
  • tell a story
  • listen to music
  • baby or toddler yoga
  • reading books
  • prayers, blessings, or sending kisses and love to other people
  • plenty of hugs and kisses

If you’d like to read more about electronics and sleep, check out this article from CNN.

How much screen time does your child get each day?

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Photography by Henriksent on Flickr

Author: Kim West, MSW, Mom of 2, creator of The Sleep Lady Shuffle

My name is Kim West, and I’m the mother of two beautiful girls, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for more than 21 years, and the creator of the original gentle, proven method to get a good night’s sleep for you and your child. My sleep journey began when I started experimenting with gently shaping my daughter’s sleep by not following the conventional wisdom at the time. After having success (and then more success with my second daughter!), I began helping family and friends and my step-by-step method spread like wildfire, exactly like an excellent night of sleep for a tired parent should!