The Science Behind a Better Bedtime

Sleep is important to everyone. Regardless of numerous demographics, we need sleep in order to function, and so it’s crucial to develop healthy habits and encourage good sleep for those at a young age as much as any other age group. In fact, given the effects poor sleep can have on development, it may be even more crucial to ensure proper sleep in infants and young children. Numerous studies have shown a number of negative consequences from insufficient or poor quality sleep in these groups, including such things as poorer neurobehavioral processes as reported by both mothers and teachers (Taveras et al., 2017).

In order to avoid such harmful developments, research has shown that it’s important to develop good sleep hygiene practices as early as possible. In most cases, these practices can include a regular bedtime combined with a consistent routine beforehand, a quiet darkened room at an appropriate temperature, and consistent starts to the day as well as daytime exercise (Galland and Mitchell, 2010).

Today, there are thankfully numerous options to help both caregivers and children with developing these habits, and technology plays a big part in many of them. More specifically, when it comes to behavioral treatments, research has shown that caregivers and children could benefit from a sleep companion that utilizes modern science to offer a variety of helpful options for caregivers while also bringing an emotional aspect for the child (Rochette, 2016).

Snorble®️, a customizable sleep assistant, will do just that.

A Different Way to Develop a Routine

Although many areas of raising children can involve some debate, one thing that remains consistent is the need to create routines for them. Developing a routine is crucial, no matter if you’re raising a newborn or addressing issues with a toddler or young kid. When caregivers have rules about bedtime, children are found to get more sleep (National Sleep Foundation, 2014), and children who transition from a non-regular bedtime to a regular one have been found to have less behavioral difficulties as determined by both caregivers and teachers (Kelly, Kelly, and Sacker, 2013). In addition, bedtime routines can also contribute to a number of other beneficial developmental outcomes for children, including language development, caregiver-child attachment, family functioning, literacy, and child emotional and behavioral regulation (Mindel and Williamson, 2017).

Of course, with caregivers facing so many demands and distractions, it’s hard  to even maintain a routine personally, let alone for others too. Snorble addresses this by providing visual and auditory reminders of key moments related to the chosen routine. Whether it’s a notification that bedtime is approaching or a slow dimming of the lights to signify that story time is ending, Snorble can assist caregivers and even monitor some elements of the bedtime, sleeping, and wake-up routines on its own.

By maintaining these scheduled elements, and doing so in a way that encourages the child to follow them, Snorble helps to ensure that kids (and caregivers) are able to sleep better (Cleveland Clinic, 2013).

Making Bedtime Enjoyable

In order to develop a routine, children must be kept engaged in completing tasks such as brushing their teeth and also winding down before bedtime. As any caregiver knows, this can be difficult, especially when competing with other sources of stimulus that children may be accustomed to in their life. To overcome this, Snorble will rely on gamification methods to increase engagement and ensure completion of the designated routine each night.

The technique has been used in a variety of fields to great success, including even in laboratory studies themselves in order to ensure completion of the required tasks (Brewer et al., 2013). Utilizing game elements such as awarding badges, progress boards, and other positive-reinforcements that will help encourage the child, Snorble will be able to ensure bedtime routine items such as brushing their teeth, putting on their pajamas, and even other custom items added by the caregivers like prayer time are completed as necessary.

Sleep Better, Everyone

While promoting a healthy routine for the child, Snorble can also act as a transitional object to encourage independence between the child and caregivers. As part of a child’s development, having an item that can offer the child reassurance and familiarity can help to minimize the separation anxiety that can occur when caregivers are not present (Rochette, 2016). As well, it can help increase the effectiveness of other behavioral treatments for a variety of sleep-related issues (Hannan and Hiscock, 2015).

More than just a security blanket, Snorble will be able to address minor issues such as early wake-ups through its light and auditory cues for the child while also alerting caregivers to any serious issues that may need to be addressed.

To help minimize issues preemptively, Snorble will include a number of options for white or pink noise, as well as music. As a convenient and safe intervention option, music therapy has been found to improve the quality of sleep in children (Anggerainy et al., 2019), and certain frequencies have been established to produce positive effects related to stress reduction (Akimoto et al., 2018). Similarly, white noise has also demonstrated a positive effect on sleep (France et al., 2018).

In order to ensure that these options are helpful instead of harmful, Snorble will adhere to safe limits of less than 50dB for their maximum sound level while also including a timer to ensure the child is not exposed to the auditory element for a prolonged period of time. In a study involving numerous other auditory devices, these features were found to be lacking and the devices created an environment that could be harmful to the child over time (Milec, 2014).

Lighting will also play a part in encouraging sleep and preparing the child for bedtime with Snorble offering a number of options for night light settings, including red light, as well as an ability to shift the light it produces from bright to dim as the bedtime routine progresses. As children have been found to be more sensitive to blue light than adults in terms of its effects on suppressing melatonin, which is key to preparing the body for sleep, the Snorble projection system will minimize blue light (Sang Il et. al., 2018). Through these features, Snorble will help to ensure your child’s bedtime environment provides their brains with the cues needed to start winding down, thus ensuring a more peaceful sleep (Akacern et al., 2018).

A New Day With Snorble

When it comes to waking-up in the morning, Snorble will have a number of methods to ensure the child develops a healthy routine while also encouraging them to not wake-up too early.

Prior to the determined wake-up time, if the child wakes up at night, Snorble will offer a visual cue in terms of its lighting to inform the child that it is not time to get out of bed. Along with this, Snorble will be able to audibly encourage the child to return to sleep, if necessary. With these tools, Snorble will be able to help the caregiver foster the child’s independence by creating a positive sleep-onset association to address their minor needs when appropriate without the caregiver having to be involved (Abrams, 2020).

When the time to wake-up is near, Snorble’s base will slowly brighten until it rests at a color and brightness that simulates daylight and encourages the child to wake. When this happens, Snorble will gently greet the child and instruct them to get out of bed and start their morning routine.

Through these methods, Snorble will help to encourage a longer sleep period at night while also developing independence for the child by encouraging them to go back to sleep on their own and also informing them when it is or isn’t time to wake-up.

A Part of the Team

In numerous studies, caregivers were found to have a lack of awareness regarding causes for sleep disorders and possible treatments based on the latest research (Rochette, 2016). Addressing this with education around sleep hygiene tactics has proven helpful for many caregivers, including those with children on the autism spectrum (Walls, 2017). Since Snorble is not meant to replace caregivers, and is simply meant to support them, the routines and tools provided through the app and the product will be both educational and easily customized. Bedtimes, wake-up times, elements monitored at night, music or white/pink noise selection, and more will be available for the caregiver to implement and tweak through the app as they deem appropriate. Thus, the caregiver will be able to determine what works for their child while working from recommendations that they know are based on sound advice and research.

Learning and Growing

To further the caregiver’s confidence in the product’s ability to offer appropriate tools and advice, Snorble will be able to be updated when needed. Through this update system, new features and changes can be implemented to reflect future research, customer feedback, and more. Thanks to this system, parents will be able to feel confident that Snorble is providing their family with the latest methods and options for a better bedtime.

To order Snorble now, please visit our Indiegogo campaign page.

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

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Works Cited

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Anggerainy, S. W., Wanda, D., and Nurhaeni, N. (2019). Music Therapy and Story Telling: Nursing Interventions to Improve Sleep in Hospitalized Children. Comprehensive Child and Adolescent Nursing. 42(sup1), 82–89. https://doi.org/10.1080/24694193.2019.1578299.

Akimoto, K., Hu, A.L., Yamaguchi, T. and Kobayashi, H. (2018). Effect of 528 Hz Music on the Endocrine System and Autonomic Nervous System. Health. 10, 1159-1170. https://doi.org/10.4236/health.2018.109088.

Brewer, Robin, Anthony, Lisa, Brown, Quincy, Irwin, Germaine, Nias, Jaye, and Tate, Berthel. (2013). Using Gamification to Motivate Children to Complete Empirical Studies in Lab Environments. ACM International Conference Proceeding Series. https://doi.org/10.1145/2485760.2485816.

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National Sleep Foundation. (2014). 2014 Sleep In America Poll Finds Children Sleep Better When Parents Establish Rules. Accessed on July 9, 2020 at https://www.sleepfoundation.org/press-release/2014-sleep-america-poll-finds-children-sleep-better-when-parents-establish-rules.

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