Every parent will be familiar with the perils of managing a poorly rested kid. Babes and toddlers get cranky; tired school-going children and teens on the other hand find it hard to focus in the day and have poorer memory.

The fact is, even 17-year-olds should get up to 10 hours of snooze time each day and younger ones, more – check the Health Promotion Board’s sleep guidelines here.

However, extensive screen time (particularly with home-based learning) and worrying Covid-19 news headlines may make it difficult for junior to wind down overactive minds.

To help your children catch more Z’s each night, here are some handy tips you can try.

#1 Meditate at bedtime

Wait, what? Can children be still for even a minute? Podcasts like Bedtime Explorers make it super easy for preschoolers to get quiet while lying in bed as a calming voice takes them on an imaginative journey and lulls them to sleep. Teens may find calming respite with apps like the Insight Timer, which features guided meditations and soothing sounds of nature among others.

#2 Get moving

Experts agree that children who expend their energy in the day sleep better at night. While a 60-minute jaunt in the parks may be out of the question these days, you can still get sweaty together at home. Try these great indoor workout ideas first thing in the morning.

#3 Seat them near the window

Exposure to the morning sunlight increases the production of serotonin, a hormone for regulating mood and keeping you calm and focused. And serotonin in turn helps the body form the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin at night. Consider setting up your child’s workstation beside the window or balcony so he or she can reap the full benefits of daylight without stepping out!

#4 Have a wind-down routine

This is an oldie but a goodie. The routine can include putting away electronic gadgets at least an hour before bed and giving the youngest ones a relaxing warm bath. You may also consider having a chat with the children in bed to recap the goings-on from the day. The most important thing is to keep it consistent from day to day so they associate the activity with bedtime.

#5 Practice makes perfect

It may take a few days before everyone adjusts to the new routine and expectations. But keep at it and results will unfold in time.