The hour before bedtime in a family with young children is supposed to be full of calm, right?
In our house I used to spend much of that time reminding my husband that we’re supposed to be preparing the boys for bed and to stop winding them up if we want them to drop off quickly and easily. If I’m honest it wasn’t much fun for any us. This is the only time during the week that our boys get to play with Daddy and I was cramping their style.
I’m always on the lookout for hints and tips to help with bedtime and children’s sleep and I recently read that melatonin is released when we laugh. This this is the same hormone that the brain releases when we’re drifting off to sleep. In fact, it’s been proven by Japanese researchers that laughing in the evening causes the body to produce more melatonin. So for me the obvious conclusion is to chill out and encourage fun and laughter before bed.
This doesn’t mean there’s carte blanche for wrestling matches and football matches five minutes before bed, but now that precious early evening time with Daddy is more relaxed and fun. And it feels pretty good that the last thing you do before you say goodnight is have a little giggle.
*You can read a little more about the study here.