Are you reading this while your exuberant little humans are napping?
Or do you have “take a shower” on your to-do list for today?
Either way, you’ve probably reached a level of exhaustion not even a cross-ocean swimmer has reached and it’s time for serious change.
What your family needs right now is sleep. And not the kind that makes you feel you’ve only closed your eyes for 5 seconds. You need proper sleep.
Here’s how. 👇
Watch James Swanwick’s video interview below with Certified Children’s Sleep Consultant and mom of two, Breni Malpass from Seaside Sleep Consulting. You can also read the transcript below the video if you prefer that instead.
They discuss a solution that will change your life, and maybe even bring back date night sooner. 😉
Let blue light glasses for kids do the heavy lifting:
➥ No more refusal at bedtime
➥ No more tippy toes down the hall during the night
➥ Quality sleep throughout the night
➥ A happier and healthier child
➥ Total relief in the household
JAMES: James Swanwick here, Swanwick co-founder. So great to see you here. I’m joined today by Breni Malpass, who’s a Certified Children’s Sleep Consultant from North Carolina. Her business is called Seaside Sleep Consulting.
Breni is going to share with us some ways to get your children to sleep better. Breni, how do we do that?
BRENI: Well, first of all, every kid is different. So there’s always going to be some twist out there as far as specific advice. But I think there are some basic things that everybody can implement to help create that healthy sleep foundation for their child.
The biggest factor is probably the environment, right? And part of that is blue or white light. A lot of people will have night lights in their room and LED and all the rage, and it’s all blue and they stick it right in front of their kid's face. This really does have an impact, as you know.
So from the environmental standpoint, we want it to be super-dark. If you need a night light it needs to be amber-color. I always like to say, think of a Himalayan Salt Lamp, when I try to explain what that looks like to folks.
So super-dark, especially during the day, because our drive to sleep isn’t super-strong during the day, so we want to create that environment that will help our kids nap better, more restoratively and longer. Because we all need those naps to happen.
So, super-dark and cool. Between 68-72 degrees is the ideal sleep temperature. And that’s for humans in general, not just for kids. We tend to overdress our children because we’re worried about them being cold. But it’s hard to sleep when you’re too hot.
And then white noise. When I say quiet, I mean there’s something that’s able to block out extra-noise. When we have that static white noise such as the hairdryer, the vacuum, it allows our brain to shut down.
Even when we’re sleeping we’re subconsciously listening for tempo. That’s why the lullabies or the forest noise can help, there’s just more opportunities to be woken up otherwise. We want to have that white noise going to help not only block out the extra noise but really allow them to get into a deep sleep.
Those are some of the things I think people aren’t aware of. Think about how we wanna create that cave, we wanna sleep in a cave, and that will help us get into a deeper sleep.
And the other important thing is the schedule. We want to play off our internal body clock. In the morning we naturally have the highest level of cortisol and at night we have the highest level of melatonin. So we want to make sure we give our kids the opportunity to sleep at the right times for their bodies. Which is different than an adult’s.
Once we get into the tweens and teens, our bodies shift so we stay up later and we sleep later. But kids need a lot more sleep than we think and their schedules are shifted much earlier.
So it’s really just being aware of that, environment and schedules are one of the biggest things that we can have an impact on.
JAMES: You and I were just talking before about the environment, let’s just go through those things again. You mentioned limiting their exposure to blue light.
So, of course, I’m wearing a pair of Swannies adult glasses, but we have a full range of kid’s glasses with fun colors for both girls and boys. How early should we be getting children to wear a pair of blue light blocking glasses?
Because today, kids are looking at screens, watching cartoons or televisions and that blue light is really causing them to sleep poorly, be irritable, have bad grades at school and have all these personality issues.
And if you wanna be a much calmer mother and father then you have to try to create some calmer kids, right?
So at what age should we be getting them to wear a pair of Swannies glasses?
BRENI: As you said, they’re watching electronics as early as under a year old, even though the American Pediatrics Association (APA) says no screen time, but the fact of the matter is they are. Part of the issue is the parents are working, getting home, and they just need a minute to make dinner so the kids get some screen time at that point.
I think it’s important to protect their eyes as early as possible, especially in the evening, because that’s when the blue light exposure is going to interfere with their ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, which is really important.
JAMES: As early as they don’t destroy their glasses.
BRENI: Every kid is different, right? I was going to say girls are more easy on them than boys, but that’s not necessarily true either.
JAMES: I gave a pair of Kids Swannies to my niece, Sadie, and she was two at the time, this was a few years ago now. And they lasted about two hours, I think, before she destroyed them.
But now she’s five and she’s wearing them consistently and her father (my brother) is now very vigilant. She’s not able to watch TV screens or any cartoons on the phone without putting on her pair of blue light blocking glasses.
BRENI: Yeah, that’s just the routine. And that’s what it has to be - automatic.
JAMES: The second thing you mention was the temperature. You said 68-72 degrees. I would actually push it to even cooler 65-69 degrees Fahrenheit. All the studies have shown that a cool temperature is optimal for the best sleep.
So if you have an AC unit just try to put it down to 65 degrees, cool that room as much as possible and then put on a blanket, but have a cool room.
And ambient light is really important. Don’t have the big bright lights for kids because at nighttime, that light is tricking your kids’ brains into thinking it’s daytime. It suppresses your child’s melatonin production, which means they’ll have trouble falling asleep, they’ll be restless in the night. And even if they fall right asleep and they aren’t restless, they still may wake up irritable, they might be running around, be slow or they might be groggy. It can compromise your child’s sleep if you’re continuously exposing them to light at nighttime, before bed. So just have them wear a pair of Kids’ Swannies Glasses.
Encouraging them to just wear those glasses at nighttime as a consistent routine, I think you will see a noticeable difference in the personality of your child, just in their happiness and calmness levels.
BRENI: And they’re really cool. I mean, I know my kids would think that they’re like special glasses that would make them look like superheroes and give them special powers when wearing them. So I think you can make it fun too.
JAMES: The last thing you said was about routine. What should that look like? And is the “going to sleep” time more, equally or less important than the “waking up” time?
BRENI: Equally. So yes, for children who are still taking multiple naps we want to wake them by 7 am so we can capitalize on their sleep waves during the day. So we can make sure we give them the opportunity to sleep in the morning and in the afternoon for their naps so that it doesn’t shift their entire schedule.
We don’t want to keep them up very late either, because when we get to the point where we’re pushing them, then they get that second wind and when our bodies aren’t given the opportunity to sleep we have to do something to stay awake. Our bodies start to produce more adrenaline and cortisol, that’s when we get that second wind. And then it’s physically hard for our kids to fall asleep, and for us, but we wanna make sure we’re getting them to bed before that happens.
I wish I could say that for a 12-month old, 6.30 pm is the perfect bedtime but we have to be a little flexible too, based on whether they slept well during the day. But I do suggest 7 o’clock for kids who are still taking multiple naps and then for a child that’s taking one nap, that typically occurs around 18 months, 7.30 pm. They can still sleep as late as 7.30 and not necessarily interfere with that afternoon sleep wave.
And obviously, the older they are they can withstand a longer wake period than a younger child. And then they’ll keep naps until 3 to 4, some longer than that. But when they go to school they don’t keep naps anymore. Then, we really have to be mindful of what time bedtime is.
JAMES: Yes, wonderful. Thank you for your insight into children’s sleep patterns, Breni.
You can reach out to Breni if you have additional questions about your child’s sleep patterns. As always, make sure you get your children a pair of Kids Swannies.
Yes, my friend. There’s light at the end of this dark tunnel. We just gotta love and utilize innovative technology out there. Go and kick the melatonin-stealer’s (aka blue light) butt! You can do this.
Yes, please! Gimme my much-deserved relief.