Mini has always been a challenge when it comes to sleep and now as a nearly 12 year old it isn’t much different, but I thought it would be worthwhile sharing with you our tips for dealing with tween sleep issues. We have tried everything over the years and can firmly say that some things work better for us than others. Mini is a much nicer child when he has had sufficient sleep. We also wanted to share with you how using a Simba Sleep Mattress has made a big impact on Mini’s quality of sleep and why.
This post contains affiliate links – this means that if you buy a mattress from my links it will cost you NO MORE, but I might earn enough to keep me in cups of tea!
First up you need to work out if your child has issues getting to sleep or staying asleep. Mini is a night owl and really struggles to get off to sleep, but now once he is asleep then he tends to sleep through. it also helps to have an idea of the amount of sleep that your child needs. So for Mini at near 12, it would be around 10 hours. So for him to be up at 7.30am he needs to be asleep by 9.30pm.
Maxi, on the other hand, has no issues getting to sleep, but no matter what time he goes to bed he always wakes up around the same time! I made this meme when he was younger and it was pretty accurate until he hit his teens. Now he goes to bed around 9 pm and is up before 7 am each morning. I guess he is just an early riser and is my lark.
Over the years we have had lots of mechanisms to help Mini with his sleep, you can find our tips for getting toddlers and preschoolers to sleep here and we share our top 10 tips for reluctant sleepers here. My two main tips are be consistent and keep trying. What didn’t work last month may work now. Our children are always growing and developing and we can help them, but we need to make sure we are consistent and both parents are on the same page.
Now Mini is older he understands his issues and also can see that he is more patient if he has had a good nights sleep, plus we can also communicate better with him and explain why we need him to have a good nights sleep.
Dealing with Tween Sleep Issues
- Make the bedroom a screen-free zone – if you remove all distractions they are more likely to sleep.
- Stop screen time an hour before bed. Research has shown that the blue light from screens can affect our sleep, so this is key to getting our children’s bodies into a rhythm.
- Keep bedtime the same each night. Children should be going to bed and waking up at around the same time every day, including non-school nights. Try to keep the difference in sleep and wake times within one hour. and be consistent on weekends. They should not sleep in to catch up on sleep they missed during the week.
- Encourage them to have a night time wind down routine, perhaps yoga or guided meditation.
- Excercise for better sleep. Children over 5 should have an hour of activity each day according to the NHS website and regular exercise helps your tween sleep more soundly.
- Cut out any caffeine – some fizzy drinks, as well as coffee and tea, contain caffeine, so make sure your children do not consume any after 4pm and remember chocolate also contains caffeine!
- Both the boys have a Lumie Bodyclock which has a natural sunset setting and is brilliant if your child reads in bed as it slowly gets darker encouraging sleep. it is also a fab alarm clock.
- Don’t worry if they still use a comforter or teddy. Seriously as a child that sucked her thumb and had a blankie, I can assure you that there have been no lasting effects (I stopped thumb sucking myself around 13).
- Do what works for your child. Mini uses a lavender and peppermint eye pillow and uses Neom Pillow Mist nightly.
- Consider changing your child’s bed or mattress. This made a big difference to Mini. His mattress was 10 years old and due for a change as he had been using it from when he came out of his cot bed. We hadn’t realised that it had been that long and as he was so much bigger he wasn’t getting the support his body needed. So we moved him to a Simba Sleep Mattress (single size).
Why we chose a Simba Sleep Mattress.
After seeing it on Steph’s Two Girls we were saving up to buy Mini a Simba Sleep Mattress. One of her girls is rather like Mini and seeing that she was happy with the mattress made us much more confident that it would suit him. Plus it comes with a 100-day money back guarantee. So when Simba offered us the chance to review one we jumped at the chance. Mini really struggles with sensory issues and hated the fact that his old mattress for bumpy and uneven, this isn’t the case for the Simba Mattress thanks to its unique combination of 2,500 patented conical pocket springs and responsive memory foam. There are actually five layers – the top one is Simbatex’, a comfort layer which gives cool, gentle support, then the spring layer, the memory foam layer, a support base and a hypoallergenic sleep surface for freshness and temperature control.
Simba Sleep Mattresses are designed and manufactured in the UK. Delivery is included and the two-man team will take it to your room of choice and will even take away your old mattress if you request it.
They don’t need turning, just rotating periodically.
You can get 12% off all orders with Simba, the code is MADHOUSE12
So did we make the right choice?
Well, as they say, the proof is in the pudding and Mini has been using his new mattress for over 60 days and he LOVES it. He sleeps sounder, gets off to sleep sooner and wanted to take it on our recent holiday with him!
We were really unsure that a mattress which comes in a box would be suitable for Mini, but we were wrong. He loved seeing it come out of its packing and transform into a lovely plump mattress (Simba advise you leave it for at least 3 hours before sleeping, and that it will continue to improve over the next two days). Another concern was the fact that we had heard that memory foam could be hot to sleep on and Mini runs hot most of the time. However, we needn’t have worried as even during this recent hot spell Mini has had a fabulous nights sleep due to Simba’s hypoallergenic air flow sleep surface providing temperature control.
Disclosure: Simba sent us a mattress free of charge in exchange for this post.