The Importance of Bedtime Routines

in Dr. Jim's FastBraiin


Welcome to Dr. Jim's FastBraiin. In this episode, we will explore the significance of bedtime routines and their impact on the brain. I'm Dr. Jim Poole, and I have definitely FastBraiin! Let's discover why bedtime routines are essential and what rituals are most effective for a good night's sleep.

The Power of Routines:

First and foremost, it is crucial to establish a consistent sleep schedule. The brain loves routines. When we repeat an action over and over again, our brain learns to expect it. Going to bed at the same time every night and turning off the lights at a fixed hour helps regulate the body's internal clock. Admittedly, it may take some time for children to adjust to a new routine, but with patience and persistence, they will adapt. If you establish a consistent bedtime and lights-out time, their body will eventually adapt to it. It may take a week or two, but the outcome will be worth it – falling asleep at the same time every night and waking up refreshed and empowered to navigate their day.

The Disruptive Effect:

It is important to avoid allowing your child to stay up late or engage in activities that stimulate their brain, such as playing with cell phones or watching TV before bed. By removing electronic devices from their bedroom, you create an environment conducive to relaxation and sleep. Without a clear routine, their brain struggles to switch into sleep mode.

The Atmosphere Matters:

Creating a peaceful and calming atmosphere is an essential part of a successful bedtime routine. In addition to setting a designated bedtime, consider incorporating soft, calming music into their routine. The type of music is crucial; it should be gentle and soothing, not energetic or fast-paced. The right music can help relax the mind and prepare the body for sleep. To create a conducive sleep environment, avoid having a TV, iPad, or cell phone in your child’s room. The absence of these distractions helps the brain relax and prepare for sleep.

Crafting the Bedtime Routine:

Bedtime routines should not solely focus on going to bed. They should begin with a series of preparatory steps, such as getting ready for bed and spending some time reading in bed. Reading before sleep not only relaxes the brain but also provides an excellent opportunity for parent-child interaction. So, take a moment before lights out to sit on the edge of your child's bed and engage in a meaningful 15-minute conversation. This time can be used to inquire about their day and listen attentively. Bedtime is a precious moment for children, especially boys, who often open up and share their thoughts more readily during this time. So, make the most of it and cherish these heartfelt conversations.


In conclusion, establishing a consistent bedtime routine is crucial for a good night's sleep. When the brain learns to expect sleep at a certain time, falling asleep becomes easier and your child wakes up refreshed. Eliminating electronic distractions from the bedroom and engaging in calming activities like reading further enhance the quality of sleep. Additionally, spending time talking to your child before lights out provides an invaluable opportunity for connection and communication. So, start implementing a bedtime routine today and enjoy the benefits of improved sleep for the whole family.

- Dr. Jim


Video Transcript:

[00:00:00] Dr. Jim Poole, MD: Welcome to Dr. Jim's FastBraiin. I'm Dr. Jim Poole, and I have definitely FastBraiin! We're going to talk about bedroom bedtime routines. The brain loves routines, and when it does something over and over again, then the brain learns to expect it. For instance, if you're going to bed at the same time and lights out at the same time, you will fall asleep at the same time.

[00:00:25] Now, sometimes that takes maybe a week or two weeks to get used to it, but you will get used to it. If you're allowing your child to stay up at night or stay in his bed playing with his cell phone and not having lights out, then their brain does not know the routine and it'll be more and more difficult for them to fall asleep.

[00:00:46] I do not want a TV in their room. I don't want an iPad playing, or a cell phone playing, so that needs to be out of the room. The biggest thing is set the time. Lights out. I don't care if they're awake in their room, and they can [00:01:00] even have music playing, but the music needs to be easygoing music, not jazzed up hype music.

[00:01:06] So we do need this routine. You need to set the routine, and the routine needs to start with getting ready for bed, and then it also needs to lie down and even spending time reading in bed. That relaxes the brain. And reading something, doesn't matter what, but they need to read, and that is a great time for them to read and interact with you.

[00:01:31] So come in, and sit on the edge of their bed, and talk to them for 15 minutes before lights out. A great time to interact, to hear how their day went. It's a perfect time that boys love to talk at bedtime. So use it and do it.

[00:01:46] Okay, thank you very much. And I look forward to seeing you more in our FastBraiin programs as we go in more depth on sleep issues and routine issues for your ADHD/FastBraiin child.

[00:01:58] So take care, have a wonderful day.[00:02:00]