Ready to Sleep Better?
Podcast Episode Transcripts:
Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.
Welcome to the kids sleep show, where we help tired parents from around the world to get their children to fall asleep independently, sleep through the night and build healthy sleep habits for life. I’m your host, Courtney Zentz. Now let’s sleep together. Hey, everyone,
Happy New Year, Courtney
Zentz. Here Thank you for tuning into the kids sleep show. I am blessed, and certainly humbled that you have chosen to join me here. Hopefully you are finding amazing value in all of these sleep tips that I share with every new episode. Always make sure that you shoot me over a message Courtney at tiny transitions.com send me a DM out on social media. Or just let me know what you want to hear more about because I base these episodes based on the questions I get from tired parents like you. And today we are going to kick off this New Year talking about the three changes that you can make in your child’s room, so they get more sleep tonight. First and foremost, I want to talk a little bit about ambient lighting, I have a lot of parents who say you know, my baby is scared of the dark. I’m scared of the dark, I can’t see when I’m in there. You know, I don’t know what’s going on. Or they just have comfort in something like a mobile on that shoot stuff up onto the ceilings. There’s pillow pets and nightlight and lava lamps and all sorts of stuff that’s creating light in the child’s room. So I want to explain the first thing that sets the foundation for one of those three changes that I’m going to make. So I want to set some foundational elements to what I’m going to share today as far as the three tips because I think it’s important parents understand a few things. First, your child’s circadian rhythm is set by light. And by dark, it is not something you can typically change your body clock does it starts around three months of age, and it sticks with you for life. The easiest way to create a sleep wake cycle is to use the sun it’s natural, provides that vitamin D and it keeps everything in check. The problem is when there is artificial light or the sun creeping in at 5am or the sun not setting till 9pm. Right. That can cause the child’s sleep wake cycles to be off right their body doesn’t recognize that it’s either time to go to bed or thinks it’s time to get up way too early in the morning. Okay, so the first of the three changes that I want to talk about are turning off nightlights, your children do not eight times out of 10 need a nightlight to sleep and I’ll explain the two out of 10 times that they do in just a few minutes. Okay, newborns and infants are not afraid of the dark. Okay, so turn Night Lights off in their room. They’re not helping they do not need them. If anything it is hurting you because it’s creating ambient light in a room children sleep best in darkness research proves that right? And so a lot of times a lot of parents say well look I have to go in in the middle of the night to feed them or I don’t want to trip if I had to change their diaper or you know gosh I really just you know sometimes fall asleep in there and I want to make sure I can see them so I keep a light on turn the lights off. Make it pitch black. I’m telling you your child will sleep better when it is a Batcave in my kids rooms. I have blackout blinds that I got at Home Depot they are cordless blinds they
essentially almost like an accordion where you slide them down and it’s immediate darkness they’re like 40 bucks a window and it creates instant Batcave I’m a little bit psychotic. So I also have blackout curtains I blame the day job and those open as well. So it is like a Batcave in both my kids rooms. They are four and six and it has been that way since birth. Okay, you want that darkness if you must have a nightlight on there’s two ways I advise to do it. The first is going to be to put a light in the hallway. That gives you just enough light that if you have to go into the room that you are able to see obviously you don’t want to be tripping and falling or hurt yourself right as you’re going in there to tend to your little one. So put the nightlight in the hallway. The other thing I recommend is if you have to have something in the room right like the setup of the outlets is not conducive to having you know a nightlight in the hallway in which you can see is to actually use a diaper to cover the light right so some people have
like the hatch light
that they use as a little nightlight when they go in there. Some people just actually have a nightlight that you know they can click on in there or some have like a lamp I had a lamp and I used to use my child’s diaper to cover the lamp so when I turned it on it blocked like 90 80% of the light but I can still move around in there and get things done. You know, there’s a lot of different ways you can do it but just kind of throw a cloth over whatever you turn on like you want as little as light possible in your child’s room if you should have to tend to them and you don’t want to trip and smash your face on something right otherwise turn Night Lights off, they are distractor there is a again, two out of 10 situation where I would say using nightlights makes sense it is not until the child turns typically between three and four years of age that they may request the use of a nightlight they have to get up to go to the bathroom and they don’t want to fall. They have to get up and maybe look for a stuffed animal or frankly at that age. They’re cognitively aware that it is a pitch dark Batcave in there, then there may be a little bit of a fear or chill that they get not being able to see anything. In those cases. I use very specific nightlights I like projectiles, they are nightlight you can get at Home Depot and target I’m sure a million other places I know Amazon sells them. And they’re a beautiful little ball that has a projection of some kind of character right, my son had one, it was Superman. And so that goes up onto his ceiling. And then when I would go to bed, I would go in and actually turn the ball down on the nightlight. And that made the room really really dark with the teeniest tiniest bit of light that he could get up to pee in the middle of the night. That was when he was about four years of age, he is now six. So he falls asleep actually reading at night. So he has one of those lamps that attach he has bunk beds. So he has a light that attaches under the bunk bed. And that stays on he falls asleep and then I turn it off. So he then goes back to kind of sleeping in, you know, essentially total darkness if he gets up in the middle of the night and scared has to pee has to see he just turns the light on himself does this thing turns the light off when he’s back in bed. Right. So that would be the situation where I would say okay, it makes sense if your child is a little scared you something like that projectable the other side of that is also a Himalayan sea salt lamp. And you may think I’m cray cray. But if you go to Walmart or Amazon, I’m sure target sells them. They’re about 15 bucks for an a pink Himalayan sea salt lamp. And I will link to some out in the show notes. Because this is a beautiful soft light, it is very, very pink and calming. Okay, we don’t want things that are like blue and crazy, right? And you can dim it. So you can really adjust the level in which you need to see. And you know, my daughter falls asleep with that on at night. And then again, I go in when she’s asleep and turn it off or turn it all the way down. She still likes a little teeny bit of light. And that works beautifully. She goes to bed doesn’t wake up at all. And then the morning she can get up to pee and do her business. Right. So nightlights you really want to just be careful have to use a balance infants and newborns do not need a light. Okay, they just don’t, they just don’t need a light. They’re no they’re not afraid of the dark, I promise you. The next thing is going to be walking around that room. So go into your child’s room, if you’re listening to this podcast with your earbuds in and walk up there now and start to assess if they have a monitor, it has a little light on it if they’re using some sort of a sleep tracking device that has a light on it. If they’re using some sort of aid humidifier, I used a smoking elephant for my kid that would you know cause humidity to come out of his little nose or whatever. I specifically used it when they were sick or in the winter months when it was dry. That had a green light on it. Right? And what would I start to notice is when I would go in my kid’s room at like two in the morning, right? And just see what’s going on. Right? Maybe they’re making a fuss or having a bad night. Whatever it is right? My kids are human too. It’s like man, you can legitimately see everything happening in this room. You do not want that covered those lights, take a piece of duct tape, cover the monitor like cover the smoking elephant light cover any of those little ambient lights, there was one in our bedroom and it was from the Comcast box. It was this crazy blue light. That was super bright, right. And we didn’t really watch TV much in our room, but we have a TV in there. And every night this blue light was like blaring in our bedroom and I’m number one blue light is a stimulant and number two is pretty excessive for being like the light that shows the the TV is off. So I actually just unplugged it cuz like I said we watch TV in there like twice a month. So when we watch it, we just plug it back in. Because it was pretty light. So I would suggest definitely covering the ambient light because that’s going to help you want to make sure that your child’s room is asleep sanctuary, right? When you go to a hotel, if you’re traveling,
you don’t like go to sleep for a nap with the windows open and everything on and the TV like you turn the stuff off. You put your little fan on your phone app, and then you close the blinds right? And that creates a conducive environment like you have to set your body up to help it to prepare and know that it’s time to sleep. Okay. The third and final tip is probably the most relevant for toddlers, and parents and school aged kids. And that is remotes, devices, all kinds of stuff, right technology, the blue light that is omitted from technology is dangerous, right? Blue Light stimulates daylight. So it’s the same kind of light frequency. I’m not a scientist. But basically the way it works is, you know, the daylight is a form of blue light, right, your TV’s, your tablets, your computers, your phones all omit blue light. So the first step is going to be to turn your phone blue light blockers on, they’re typically called Night Shift that’s going to prevent, really the devices from being stimulating, you still don’t want to get up at three in the morning and start looking at Instagram, because that’s going to stimulate you. But for your kids, especially keep devices out of the bedroom, do not allow them to watch TV about an hour before bedtime, you have to give their body enough time to prepare to go to sleep. And you have to be really careful, I have some clients that will give their kids devices in their bedroom, so that when they wake in the morning, they can watch on the iPad and let the parents sleep in. Well, let me explain what’s happening. Your kids waking up at four in the morning because they want to watch a YouTube, right? So you have to be really careful about the motivation to wake up as well. Just like we get in habits of like, I’m going to check my phone when I get up to pee at 3am. Right? Kids get in habits too. And so these little devices that can creep their way into our lives, right can cause a challenge with sleep and sleep consolidation. I have not for five years taken my phone to my bedroom, if you need to get ahold of me, you have to call the cops because I’m not answering it. It is downstairs turned off in the kitchen. I have done that for at least five years. Right? So again, if anybody ever needs me, and there’s an emergency, you’re calling the cops because there’s no chance you’re getting me right. I create my bedroom as a sleep sanctuary. And I encourage all of my clients to do so as well. You want the bedroom to be a place of calm and rest. You want it to be a place of relaxation, where children can unwind and prepare for sleep. The body triggers melatonin when it starts to get dark, right? There’s a huge misconception about melatonin and the fact that it is actually a sleep aid it is not Melatonin is a hormone that prepares the body to sleep. Okay, easiest analogy I can use is in the Olympics, 100 yard dash, right? There’s the guy that holds the gun to start the race fires the gun, that is melatonin. He is not running in the race, he is simply starting it. Melatonin is needed to prepare your body to go to sleep and it’s triggered by darkness. Right? So creating that conducive environment, that consistent routine that’s not overcrowded by devices and such is going to be super helpful for you. As far as you know, those remote devices and keeping things out of the bedrooms, phones, tablets, you know, computers, all of the above right we just get into this like heavy world of electronics, especially with the holidays being over lots of new gadgets running around. I got my daughter something that I actually used as a child, it was like the I forget the name of it now, but it’s blanking me like, but it was like a little egg and it was on a little key chain. And you had to feed it and if it pooped, you had to clean it up. Sometimes it would sleep so you had to turn the light off. And then you were kind of responsible for growing this like little thing and it was kind of a little game. I got it for her I got annoyed because it kept going off after like, I don’t know, 20 minutes, it kept beeping and I’m like, Oh my gosh, it pooped I gotta, you know, change it. And I finally just turned it off and hit it. I was like, okay, she’s too young to understand. And I’m annoyed by this beeping. So I hit it. Like, we’ll get it we’ll get back to you a year from now because she was just a little too young for but those type of devices, right, they show up in the bedroom and then all of a sudden, you know, your kids waking up, we actually have walkie talkies in our kid’s room. And I’ll be damned if the other night my daughter didn’t turn hers off. So at like three in the morning, I hear this excessive, loud walkie talkie in my office where she left it. It was still turned on but the battery died. And it just started blaring like battery dying battery dying, woke me up from a solid sleep, I flew out of my room and into the office to turn the thing off. I was so mad. I didn’t fall back to sleep. They never woke up Luckily, but you know, it’s all kind of stuff like that. You just got to pace like super careful attention to because, you know, it can wake them up and it’s it’s stimulating. So
that could be the reason that your children are not sleeping. So those three changes you can implement tonight to help your kids sleep better. You always want to balance things like overtired, right, making sure your kids getting the right amount of sleep at the right time. And as I always talk about I have a bazillion free tools that I give clients right? Probably more so than any paid subscription or service or consultant or ebook or taking care of stuff that you have If you can go out to my website, tiny transitions.com forward slash tools, and you’re gonna see everything there’s a schedule generator out there. There is a link to my free training that I do I’ve got the next one kicking off January 11. It’s a five day free sleep training mini series. I have sample nap generators, I have ebooks and short naps and early wakings and links and just download after download ideal a week windows a baby dressing guide. I mean you name it guys like it’s out there for you toddler reward charts like I have a whole page of just free stuff. So go out and check it out. And hopefully, you get a little bit more sleep tonight knowing that you’ve made some of these changes. Remember, a kid’s room should be like a Batcave and you want to create a sleep sanctuary. So again, if you have any questions thank you so much for tuning into the kids sleep show. Until next episode, Have a beautiful day and leave the rest to me. Hold on one more thing before you go. As a valued listener of the kids sleep show. I want to help you build a great sleeper not just in the times you’re listening to the show. But all day every day. Every week of the year. I have a new Facebook group called slumber Made Simple. It’s a place to gather with other parents looking for sleep support, laughs and the latest in sleep research to build a family that is rested and at their best day in and day out. If you want to be part of the community where you can get free sleep support, weekly training sessions, unbelievable content and so much more. Head on over to tiny transitions.com forward slash community. That’s tiny transition stuff comm forward slash community or head over to Facebook and search slumber Made Simple. drop me a note and let me know when you join. I can’t wait to see you there.