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Is bedtime a nightly struggle for you and your family?

It is no secret that sleep is essential to brain-health. But, poor sleep does more than just make your children tired the next day- it can negatively affect their developing brains and have damaging effects on your child’s life, triggering depression, attentional and learning problems, poor judgment and impulse control issues.

Ten-time New York Times bestselling author and child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen teams up with artist Gail Yerrill to create a book that helps facilitate sleep in children. Time for Bed, Sleepyhead pairs whimsical illustrations with hypnotic storytelling techniques to stimulate and then soothe your child’s imagination in order to help them settle down and fall asleep.

If your kids are having trouble getting to sleep, there is a good chance that they are doing something that’s preventing them from getting a full night’s rest. That’s why it’s important to avoid doing these 4 things that can keep your child from sleeping restfully each night:

1. Turn off the Gadgets

Dr. Amen recommends that children avoid overly stimulating activities before bed, like listening to loud music and especially screen time on electronic devices. Dr. Amen suggests a little light reading from a traditional book. He also suggests listening to soft music, saying bedtime prayers or a loving kindness meditation together, or even singing some favorite quiet tunes.

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2. No Caffeine

Dr. Amen’s warns that drinking caffeine drinks can keep your kids from falling asleep. He does suggest that, if parents want to give a pre-bedtime drink, a small glass of warm, sugar-free almond or coconut milk with a teaspoon of vanilla extract and natural stevia can help promote sleep.

3. Avoid Too Much Stimulation

Dr. Amen recommends that parents avoid overly stimulating activities before bed, like rough housing or watching scary movies.

4. Turn Down the Lights Before Bed

To relax children, Dr. Amen recommends a quiet, cool, environment with as little light as possible.

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Following these simple recommendations will help you and your children enhance their bedtime routines and help get them the sleep that their growing bodies need. You can now purchase Dr. Amen’s newest book, Time for Bed Sleepyhead, to help promote a good night sleep for your child.