Sleep tips for children

Ask any parent what the biggest issue they face with their kids is and you can be sure that sleeping habits will come near the top of the list.

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Whether it's difficulty getting to sleep, getting up in the night or waking the whole house up at silly o'clock - all mums and dads have suffered in one way or another at some point.

But sticking to a few simple tips can make a big difference...

Maintain a routine
Sticking to regular times for bed and getting up can pay dividends in setting your little one's body clock and helping them enter the land of nod.

As well as having a set bedtime, a familiar ritual can be an advantage too - perhaps involving cleaning teeth, getting jim-jams on and reading stories.

Relax and unwind
A warm-ish bath, low lighting and soothing music can all help kids wind down in time for bed.

In the period after dinner but before bed you might want to just have a lamp on - and try to avoid boisterous or exciting activities too.

The milky way
Try giving your child a cup of warm milk around 30 minutes before bedtime, because a nice drop of the white stuff is widely known to induce drowsiness.

But that still doesn't work you can up the ante the next time with bananas, turkey, peanuts or yogurt - all of which contain tryptophan, a substance known to aid sleep.

Feet first
Having nice cosy feet can help us drift off into the land of slumber, so try putting warm socks on your child's feet in cold weather.

A whiff of lavender
Lavender is another well-known sleep aid - and there are several brands of lavender-scented bath soap on the market to use during that pre-bed soak.

A couple of drops of lavender oil on or under the pillow are also believed by many to help their children nod off.

What's your bedtime trick? Tell us in the comments below...