Help Your Child Get the Sleep They Need
All of us need to sleep, but children especially need to sleep. Children who don’t get enough good sleep are more likely to experience learning difficulties, behavioral issues, and health issues. Here are a few easy steps to ensure your child gets the required rest:
Establish a Regular Nighttime Routine
For newborns, toddlers, and preschoolers, routines are extremely crucial. After dinner, the rest of the evening should consist of a short game, a bath, teeth brushing, a bedtime tale, and finally, bedtime.
Predictability is essential for toddler development. Setting a loving boundary before night for your kid creates a sense of security and encourages good sleep patterns. Following and upholding a toddler’s sleep routine promotes deeper, less disturbed sleep at night, decreases the occurrence of tantrums, and improves emotional management, as pleasant dispositions are linked to bedtime rituals.
Depending on the activities, a nighttime ritual should last between fifteen and thirty minutes. Aim for a soothing and unwinding routine, creating the perfect environment for rest. Your toddler may eventually experience automatic sleepiness at the start of the routine.
Establish a Personal Sleep and Wake-up Time for Every Child
According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), children of school age require between nine to eleven hours of sleep per night. However, there is a lot of variation in sleep patterns and demands. Most kids have predictable habits, and if you put late sleepers to bed, they will only sleep when they need to, and early risers will still get up early no matter how much effort you put into changing their wiring.
For this reason, you as a parent must cooperate with your kids to establish a good bedtime that gives them plenty of rest and wake up on time. Choose a wake-up time based on how much sleep your child requires and when they go to bed. To reduce future stress for you as a parent, establish a wake-up ritual as early as the preschool years and consistently adhere to the program.
Letting your kid sleep in on the weekends is a kind and rewarding act, but it is not the best idea in the long term, as their bodies won’t be able to feel sleepy at bedtime after those additional hours of sleep. If you can strive to keep everyone’s bedtime and wake-up time within an hour or so every day, it will make everyone’s life much simpler.
Switch off All Screens and Remove Stress Factors Two Hours Before Bedtime
An essential component of the sleep-wake cycle is melanin. Most people are sleepy and prepared for bed when melanin levels are at their peak. The “stress hormone,” cortisol, is a hormone that also affects sleep. Your child’s body won’t be able to shut down and go to sleep when cortisol levels are high.
According to 2011 research, blue light from a phone, computer, or television screen can hinder the melanin hormone’s ability to be produced. Letting your child watch TV, play video games, or browse the internet on a phone or computer shortly before bed will keep them up for an additional thirty to sixty minutes due to increased stress levels.
Make sure all screens are turned off before night, or make the bedroom a technology-free zone. Please don’t bring your phone into your child’s room or keep it on mute when you are there. Try reading to your child in the evening to give their brain a rest instead of screen time. Calmly do your evening activities. This can help prevent your child’s system from absorbing too much cortisol and producing more melanin.
Ensure Your Child’s Comfort
Your child’s sleep cycle depends on more than just light or screen or a specified kind of stress. The stressors could also be temperature related. Melanin levels regulate the reduction in internal body temperature required for sleep.
You can contribute to controlling the outside temperature by toning down the heat. Do not frustrate your child with multiple layers on a barely cold night. Another stressors that could prevent your child from falling asleep as easily as you’d want is you. Children sometimes struggle to turn off their brains at night.
Therefore, consider emphasizing relaxation and maintaining your child’s calm instead of urging that it is time to go to bed. Try calming your child’s body by teaching them meditation techniques like deep breathing and humming. Try out different techniques and find out what works best for your kid.
Understand Other Factors That Affect Sleep
Extremely busy teenagers frequently struggle to finish everything in time to get enough sleep. Discuss your teen’s daily routine with them and seek ways to promote better sleep. Help them understand how to complete homework during the day. Help them restrict the time spent playing video games or engaging in other activities that interfere with homework. Sleep must be given top priority.
Restrict nap time for your teens. Naps may seem like a nice idea for a tired older child, but they can disrupt nocturnal sleep. Through preschool, naps are acceptable. But to ensure an older child gets efficient bedtime rest, you need to keep them occupied during the day.
Ensure that your child exerts energy into recreational activities during the day. Not only is it crucial for their health, but it also improves sleep.
Before bed, help them engage in relaxing practices that will induce sleep easier.
Examine Your Child for Potential Sleep Anomalies
Children are different. Even the best-laid ideas don’t always work out as you hope. You have to learn on the job what works for your child and plan around that. If your child is old enough, discuss the situation and help them get to the bottom of it.
Your child may have a sleep issue if they have experienced frequent nightmares, snoring, or breathing through their mouth.
Consult your pediatrician if you have any worries regarding your child’s sleeping patterns. They might propose hiring a sleep expert or have other ideas for you to try so everyone in the household can enjoy a good night’s rest. Good sleep is key to stable mental, intellectual, and emotional development and should not be taken lightly.