Improve Your Little One's Sleep Habits - Our Top Ten Tips to Get Forty Winks!

Children should be getting between 9 and 14 hours of sleep a day – depending on their age and needs. If those numbers feel a long way off, you’ve come to the right place!

Are your kid’s sleep habits keeping you up at night? Counting sheep no longer cutting it? It’s common for youngsters to struggle with getting the rest they require, you’re certainly not alone, but we’re here to remedy that!

Cue Cuckooland’s sleep hacks for insomniacs! We’ve put together a list of ten tricks for you and your family to try, along with a few recommendations to make life a little easier. Replace losing sleep with getting forty winks and make bedtime a breeze for you both!

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1. Embrace the Bedtime Routine

Olivia Mid Sleeper Bed with Storage

You’ve undoubtedly heard the ‘bedtime routine’ tip before, but there’s a reason for it – it’s all true! But having a routine is one thing, keeping it is a whole other story. There are a few ways of getting a sleep schedule to stick – but we’d recommend adding some fun!

Get your youngster involved in their nightly routine, once you’ve set a wind-down and sleep time. By this, we mean encouraging them to pick out their pyjamas themselves, listening to their favourite calming music, helping make their wind-down drink together, and similar steps. By creating a fun, familiar, and inclusive routine, bedtime will feel like less of a chore for kids and they’ll get into a natural rhythm.

The Olivia Mid Sleeper Bed is a great addition to their sleep setup. Select a story from the bed’s bookcase and grab a soft toy cuddle buddy from the storage steps to snuggle up with while you read together. Choose a different book and toy each night to give their routine a small shake-up!

Just as important as a bedtime routine, have a set wakeup time too – even on the weekends. Your little one’s sleep cycle won’t go interrupted and their natural body clock will assist with getting them to stick to their sleep schedule. Start the day by opening the curtains, having a sing-song, making the bed, and preparing breakfast together.

2. Encourage Sleep Confidence in Your Kiddies

Nora Toddler Teepee Bed
Jackson Kids House Bed

If your little one is lacking sleep confidence, there are a few things you can try to remedy their reluctance to rest. Do you remember your parents using ‘you’ll go to bed early’ or ‘you’ll go to your room’ to deter bad behaviour? It’s best to avoid similar tactics if you’re trying to encourage sleep confidence! Instead, it helps to approach how your littles feel about sleep in the first place. Have a conversation and see what might be bothering them. Do they feel anxious about sleeping alone, do they get scared when they wake up in the night or are recurring nightmares bothering them? Once you’ve gotten to the bottom of the cause, try to promote their bedroom as a safe, quiet, and relaxing space to get some rest. You can also do this by updating their sleep setup.

The Nora Toddler Teepee Bed and Jackson Kids House Bed are specially designed to soothe reluctant sleepers. Set low to the ground, kids can get in and out of bed easily (should they need to) and nighttime tumbles needn’t be a worry – and there isn’t enough room for a monster under the bed here! Along with a charming open canopy – the playful tipi bed and house bed designs make bedtime fun. Decorate with fairy lights, bunting, mobiles, soft accessories, and comfortable bedding, and kids will be distracted from their fears. They’ll look forward to heading up to bed and feel safe and secure when it’s time to hit snooze.

3. Banish Blue Light Before Bedtime

Ava High Sleeper Bed with Desk, Wardrobe and Storage

Blue light is one of the biggest causes of sleep disruption! What do we mean by blue light? Any light emitted by televisions, PCs, screens, phones, tablets, and other devices. Being exposed to blue light before bed, and for long periods, can affect our melatonin (sleep hormone) levels and interrupt our bodies’ natural circadian rhythm – or body clock.

It’s therefore recommended we switch off blue light at least one hour before heading to bed and sleeping in a dark and quiet environment. Kids of all ages can find it difficult to stick to this rule, but teens and young adults can find it especially hard. I’m sure you’d also admit to being a victim of your blue light devices!

Having a kid’s bed like the Ava High Sleeper assists with sticking to the no-screen bedtime ban! Complete with a full-width desk, and storage galore; when it’s time to wind down, their devices, laptops, and phones can be stored below their bed, and out of reach – to avoid temptation. Replace screen time for late-night reading and display a selection of books on the surrounding bedside shelves. Make sure to steer clear of thrillers and page-turners though – they’ll have the reverse effect!

4. Read, Relax, and Reset

Fraser Single Storage Bookcase Bed with Trundle Drawer

Replacing bothersome blue light, reading is known to relax kids (and adults) before bed. This quiet activity gives overactive minds a moment of distraction and a chance to shut off. Beds like the Fraser Single Storage Bookcase Bed are great at encouraging kids to take some time out. Organise their ‘read pile’ in the built-in shelves and keep the rest of their library stashed in the trundle drawer below. Doubling as a side table – install a lamp on the headboard to avoid eye strain and establish a light’s out policy if they’re reading independently!

Even if your kiddies aren’t at the reading stage or haven’t shown an interest, try audiobooks, meditation, or mindfulness activities before bed instead. Creating these moments of quiet will encourage a much more restful and relaxing sleep and they’ll wake feeling better for it!

5. Active Tots Need Tiring Out

Maxxi Cabin Bed with Slide, Drawers and Storage

If you’ve found your little ones are still full of energy when it should be sleep O’clock, gentle exercise just before bed could be the answer! As recommended by the Sleep Foundation, kids that get at least one hour of exercise a day are more likely to fall asleep faster, with less chance of waking during the night. Discuss joining a sports team or exploring an active hobby. If you’d like to exercise at home, why not try dancing, stretching, skipping, or running – see the NHS UK for more ideas!

Or you could always turn their bedroom into a 2 in 1 indoor play area and sleep space with the Maxxi Cabin Bed with Slide! Complete with movable storage boxes, a chalkboard, a ladder, and a slide – kids can let off steam during the day and rest and recharge during the night. They’ll be out for the count when bedtime rolls around!

6. Create a Clutter-free Zone

Lars Low Cabin Bed

It might sound far-fetched, but studies have found that sleeping in a clutter-free space can improve sleep quality. If your kids haven’t been getting the sleep they need and wake up feeling more tired than the day before, it might mean a tidy-up is in order!

The Lars Low Cabin Bed will help bring balance back and take control of cluttered kids’ rooms. Designed with pull-out drawers, a shelf, and a trundle drawer – the contents of their room can be stored in one place, instead of being strewn across their ‘floordrobe’. Not only will you save on space and excess furniture purchases, but bedrooms will be tidy and sleep will be saved. The bed’s calming grey and white colour palette helps create a clutter-free zen zone too. It should be renamed the LarzZZ Low Cabin Bed!

7. Rid Bedrooms of Distractions

Ella Kids Teepee Bed with Optional Storage

Don’t just rid their room of clutter; distractions can be just as detrimental to healthy sleep habits! If kids, tweens, and teens can find any other reason not to rest, you can be sure they’ll be tempted away. Don’t let sleep become sidelined by toys, tech, and even homework!

Want to distinguish their bedroom as distraction-free? Style the natural wooden Ella Kids Teepee Bed with soft bedding, in calming colours, to create a relaxing environment that avoids overstimulation. Add in the optional storage drawer, and their toys can be neatly tucked away and out of sight when it’s time to visit the Sandman!

If they don’t have the space to solely use their bedroom for sleeping, use clever storage ideas to hide their favourite distractions. Trundle drawers, wardrobes, built-ins, shelves, and storage baskets will be your best friend. And if possible, try to complete homework and school assignments in a separate room from their sleep space. If kids associate their bedroom with anything other than sleep, it’ll be hard for them to switch off!

8. Trust in Bedside Tables

Aviary Triple Sleeper Bunk Bed with Drawers and Storage

Give kids a place for all of their nighttime essentials and they won’t need to get up during the night, quickly returning to their REM sleep. Sounds simple doesn’t it? It’s a ‘why didn’t I think of that’ moment!

Handy bedroom storage like a bedside table, filled with their must-haves, can help kids tend to themselves (without disturbing you), get back to sleep faster and get the rest they need. If your youngster is prone to restless sleep, prefers to have a light, and needs audiobooks or white noise for reassurance – having a spot for them all to live and giving your kids the tools to self-soothe, won’t just improve their sleep habits but also encourage independence.

If you’re short on floor space and don’t have the square footage for more furniture, install a wall-mounted shelf as an alternative to a bedside table! Or swap out their bed for something like the Aviary Triple Sleeper Bunk Bed and use the surrounding shelves for their nightlights, bedtime drinks, and audio players!

9. Lower Noise and Light Levels

Kids sensitive to sensory stimuli can struggle to get to sleep if noise and light levels are becoming disturbing. Blackout curtains are a huge help, especially in the summer months with brighter mornings and evenings to contend with, but also help block out unwanted street lights, car headlights, etc. Child-safe sleep masks are also a great alternative if swapping out blinds and curtains isn’t possible. Just make sure they’re suitable, age-appropriate, and can easily be removed, should they need to.

If external noise is the reason for their lack of rest, try playing white noise to counter any unwanted raucous! Or distract kids with an audiobook or calming music and wait for the noise to pass. Even implementing a ‘quiet time’ for all of the family to stick to, can be a big help – after a certain hour, everyone will know it’s time to keep it down. If you’re still having trouble with noise and light pollution, it’s always best to speak to a sleep specialist or healthcare professional for more information and resources!

10. Mattresses and Bedding Might Need Updating

Panda London Bamboo Memory Foam Mattress Topper

Finally, number 10, but probably the most important tip – check their mattress and bedding! Known to be the number one cause of sleep disturbance in kids – it’s their sleep setup.

To avoid potential health problems and poor sleep quality, the Sleep Foundation advises mattresses should be replaced every six to eight years! Check for telltale signs of wear and tear and look out for showing springs, bumps, sagging, and squeaking. If you come across any of these red flags, you’ll know it’s time for an update.

If they’re not quite due a new mattress, the Panda London Bamboo Memory Foam Mattress Topper will add an extra layer of comfort and help keep sleep habits in check. Made from naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic Hyrdo-foam – a memory foam infused with gel capsules to keep kids sleeping at the perfect temperature – the Panda London topper offers a deeper and more restorative sleep. As well as extending the life of their current mattress, kids will enjoy a better night’s sleep and get a full forty winks!

Tips To Turn ‘Junk Sleep’ into Counting Sheep!

If you’ve made it this far without nodding off, we salute you! Our tips are not exhaustive, so please contact us via email at or call +44 (0) 1305 231231 , if you would like more information. Or speak to a sleep specialist or healthcare professional for further help and advice.


With more than 10 years’ experience in providing advice and support to parents looking for their perfect kids bed, mother of 2, Nathalie Davis is passionate about helping children develop. In her role as Director of Product Procurement at Cuckooland, Nathalie has helped thousands of parents improve their children’s sleep and sleeping habits through the beds and mattresses she sources and the articles she writes. In her spare time she teaches her Golden Retriever to be a responsible vegetarian and is often spotted sifting through clothes at her local Charity Shops.

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