Bedroom Hacks for Exam Season: 5 Tips to Optimise Your Child’s Sleep Environment

May 6, 2024 | Children

As exam season approaches for many children and teens in the UK, ensuring they get a good night’s sleep becomes paramount. Quality sleep not only supports their physical growth but also enhances cognitive function, which is crucial for performing well in school. Plus, studies have shown that children who sleep less tend to eat more, which increases the risk of obesity and related health problems later in life.

Parents and caregivers play a vital role in cultivating a conducive sleep environment for children, starting with the foundation of a comfortable and supportive bed.

Here are five top tips on creating the perfect bedroom for your children:

1. A dark bedroom is best

A dark bedroom is better for sleep but also to stop early risers! Use black-out blinds and curtains to block out any external light. For children who fear complete darkness, a gentle nightlight designed for bedrooms can offer comfort without disrupting sleep patterns. Avoid using brighter lights such as bedside lamps or landing lights which can impact our natural rhythms that trigger sleep. Melatonin (the sleep hormone) increases when it is dark.

2. Ensure your child’s bed still provides the comfort and support they need

Buying a new bed for your child is probably one of the pricier purchases you will make as a parent, but good sleep (for the whole family!) will benefit their physical and mental wellbeing.

A child’s bed must provide adequate support for growing bones and muscles by holding the spine in correct alignment, with sufficient comfort layers to cradle the body’s contours. Do not buy second-hand and or use hand-me-down mattresses either!

NBF Approved MemberOnce you have checked to see if your child needs a new bed, it is important you buy from a bed brand that is a member of the National Bed Federation. These bed and mattress manufacturers have undergone rigorous independent auditing to certify that they have robust procedures to ensure they comply with UK regulations on safety, cleanliness of fillings and trade descriptions. Read more about NBF-approved brands and find your nearest retailer.

3. Establish bedroom zoning

Create separate areas within the bedroom for sleep, play, and study to maintain a clear distinction between activities. It gives each zone a focus and allows the bed to become an area designated for just bedtime rather than where they can play.

4. Remove toys and gadgets or store them away

Overstimulated children in the hours before bed (i.e., active play, and use of technology) will struggle to settle down and sleep. Avoid having too many toys in the bedroom or conceal them with clever storage solutions, as a messy, cluttered room can impact sleep.

Encourage children to incorporate putting toys away at the end of playtime, which will help to signal the start of a wind-down bedtime routine. Ideally, computers, game consoles and TVs should be banned from the bedroom, but if that is not possible, try to limit the use of these devices in the hour just before bedtime! Why not encourage reading a bedtime story instead?

5. Choose calming colours

Get your child involved with decorating their bedroom – especially as you want it to be a place they are happy to be in! Avoid bright red paint or black wallpaper, and steer them to more muted shades that create a more relaxing environment. Blues, greens and blush pinks make great bedroom colours.

By implementing these tips, you can create a serene and supportive sleep environment that encourages restful nights and enhances your child’s overall wellbeing.

Read more information on knowing when and how to replace your child’s bed.

First published 23.10.23, updated 06.05.24


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