How Bedtime Routines Help Kids Fall Asleep

bedtime routines

Research shows that children who stick to a bedtime routine tend to fall asleep faster, remain asleep longer periods, and wake less frequently at night.

Be mindful that kids may attempt to prolong the bedtime routine with requests for drinks, snacks, bathroom visits or additional stories. Resist these urges; giving in would disrupt any healthy routine you wish to establish.


Bath time can be an integral part of most children’s bedtime routines and is an excellent opportunity to wind down and prepare them for sleep. Bathing provides the opportunity to read them a story or discuss their day, give hugs or give advice for safe sleeping environments.

Studies have revealed the many advantages associated with having a regular bedtime routine for kids. Studies have demonstrated the positive results, such as early bedtimes with less time taken to fall asleep and fewer nightly wake-ups, of starting an established routine as infants or toddlers. These benefits remain visible years later for these same children who were introduced to it early.

One of the key aspects of creating an effective bedtime routine for your child should be keeping it short and simple. Overstuffing their schedule with activities or switching around the order could cause confusion and disruption of sleep, disrupting their restful slumber.

Start your child’s routine approximately 30 minutes prior to bedtime to ensure they don’t become overtired and fall asleep easily. Avoid having them watch too much television before bedtime as this may increase anxiety about going to sleep and make it harder for them to doze off.

Some kids find it easier to sleep when rocked; for others it may be best to put them down after bath time and read them a story to relax them before going back into their rooms. That way if they wake up during the night and can’t fall back asleep on their own, they know it’s safe and appropriate to come out and cuddle if they need additional snuggles from you.


Reading can be a very relaxing activity at any time of day, but is especially effective before bed. Reading can provide both physical and mental relaxation as it takes away your mind from stressors of everyday life.

Reading can help you escape reality, letting go of worries quickly and effortlessly. Select something light and enjoyable so that you fall asleep quickly; or keep up-to-date on world affairs by keeping a selection of books handy to you – the latter helps prevent boredom!

Reading can not only relieve stress, but can also improve memory, attention span and brain health in older adults. Regular reading has been shown to lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and depression while increasing mental aging rates with reduced memory problems among readers who regularly read.

Establish a routine from an early age is important to setting them on a healthy path to independence and improved school performance and happiness during their day. Sleep routines teach your children self-care while helping them build skills needed for independent sleep at night. A bedtime ritual also establishes healthy lifestyle habits, including work/life balance resulting in improved school performance and happier feelings during their days!


Implementing a bedtime routine can help children relax their minds, unwind their bodies, and sleep more soundly. They may find comfort in listening to stories or spending time talking with parents about their day; practicing prayer; playing relaxing music before sleep or writing down their worries can all contribute to better restful nights for everyone involved.

Meditation can be an effective way for adults to unwind their minds and prepare for restful slumber. Whether practicing solo or following a guided mediation session, finding a comfortable spot and shutting off any distractions are essential – this includes electronic devices which emit blue light that tricks the brain into believing it’s still daytime, suppressing melatonin production essential for proper sleep and suppressing its production by the pineal gland.

As part of your bedtime routine, there are various meditation techniques you can include in your bedtime routine: breathing exercises such as counting inhales and exhales can help relax the body while signaling to the mind it’s time for sleep. Visualization meditation entails visualizing peaceful scenes to create a calming state similar to hypnosis; other popular practices may be mindfulness or gratitude meditations.

Before bed, to get into meditation practice, begin by concentrating on your feet and paying attention to any sensations such as heaviness or tingling in them. Gradually shift focus onto other parts of your body while relaxing each section at once.


Writing down worries, anxieties and to-do lists might seem counter-intuitive to a nighttime ritual; however, studies indicate that journaling before bed can help soothe your mind. The goal is to release any worries onto paper so they can be left behind with confidence that enough thought has been given them for now.

Have a beautiful journal (or choose one of our eco-friendly sustainable wellness products) with you every night and devote five or ten minutes of writing time just for yourself in it. Make it a point not to look at screens or use phones during this time; use it instead as an opportunity to unwind by doing something tactile and soothing that takes the focus away from any potential sources of anxiety.

People often use the time before bed to reflect on their daily achievements, acknowledge things they’re grateful for and write about events of the day in a journal. Journaling this way may prove just as effective at aiding sleep than other forms. According to one study on journaling participants who wrote future-to-do lists fell asleep faster than those who simply reflected back upon past accomplishments; likely due to being more specific with their lists they were able to release any anxieties that may otherwise hinder restful restful slumber.


Many parents use music as part of their bedtime routine to help their child fall asleep faster. This may involve anything from classic children’s songs, relaxing lullabies or white noise; consistency and predictability is key – knowing what’s coming next helps your child feel secure and less anxious during bedtime.

If your bedtime routine with your child has become challenging to follow, and they still struggle to sleep, it might be time to change things up a bit. While it’s essential that they follow it exactly each night, adding in different activities or songs may add just enough variety for them to sleep well at night. Perhaps switching up what book or songs are read before bed or singing a different tune every night might help?

Routines can also help adults sleep better! In fact, studies show that having a nighttime ritual helps unwind before sleep and lead to improved rest overall. Set aside 30-60 minutes each night for your own soothing bedtime ritual and see if you don’t experience improved rest! To discover more benefits of an adult nighttime ritual check out this post.


Avoid vigorous exercise just before bed, as it can give a surge of energy that makes falling asleep more challenging. Instead, gentle stretching or light yoga may help relax muscles and prepare the body for restful slumber. Some individuals also find spiritual activities helpful at bedtime such as reading spiritual literature or praying.

Consistency is of utmost importance when creating an effective bedtime routine, with all steps taking place each night at approximately the same time and beginning around the same time – this helps your brain associate sleep with these activities, signaling it’s time to relax.

Toddler bedtime rituals should consist of wearing pajamas, brushing teeth and reading books before bed. Since some children use needing the potty as an stall tactic before going to sleep, you’ll want to ensure this step has taken place first.

Maintaining a regular bedtime routine is proven to reduce stress, improve self-care, and foster parent-child attachment and language development. Furthermore, children learn how to fall asleep quickly and remain asleep through the night – which leads to healthy weight gain and improved academic performance as well as emotional and behavioral regulation in childhood. Furthermore, consistent bedtime routines may even result in improved sleeping during adolescence! If you haven’t started yet, implement one now; you won’t regret it. Get your free Printable Routine Chart and Cards here >>.

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