Children and sleep are often a concern for parents, especially when it comes to getting them to bed on time. When little ones have trouble falling asleep, bedtime can become a battle zone. However, there are ways to even the odds. By creating a healthy sleep association, providing a comfortable sleep environment, and enforcing healthy daytime habits, children and teenagers can sleep well
10 Tips to Get Your Kids to Sleep
Set up a bedtime routine
Good sleep patterns are promoted by a regular bedtime routine that begins around the same time every night. About 20 minutes before bedtime, your child should engage in some quiet, enjoyable activities. Reading a book or listening to a short story are some of the common activities included in bedtime routines, including taking a bath or brushing teeth before bed.
Relax before bedtime
It is very essential to have a relaxed time for the children before having a good night’s sleep. Reading books, listening to soft music, or practicing breathing techniques (Yoga for sleep blog) can help older children relax. But, school-age children can face difficulty in sleeping due to a tiring day at school. In case your child has trouble falling asleep after 30 minutes, he or she might need a longer wind-down time.
A better Sleep Environment is a must
When it comes to children’s sleep, their surroundings play an important role. Some include reduced noise levels, minimal lighting, and optimum temperature. Taking care of the noise levels if you reside in a noisy neighbourhood is essential as it may create a disturbance for your kid to sleep without any trouble. Make sure to close the windows of the bedroom to avoid sleep disruption during the night.Comfortable bedding is also equally important for a night of uninterrupted sleep. Sometimes the uncomfortable bedding can be the reason for the incomplete sleep of your child, hence cotton bedding is the ideal choice as it inherits the qualities such as temperature regulation, high absorption, and is soft.
No Electronic Gadgets before Bedtime
If you want your kids to sleep well, you will have to be a little strict with them when it comes to their habit of using electronic devices. According to National Institutes of health studies, the light from computer screens, mobile phones, and televisions suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland that helps induce sleep. Your child will be up for an additional 30 to 60 minutes if he or she watches TV, plays video games, or browses web pages right before bed. Hence, turn off the screens at least 2 hours before bedtime.
Help alleviate fears
In spite of the fact that lots of scary creatures don’t exist, it is important for parents to address bedtime fears with their children rather than dismiss them. To reinforce your child’s sense of security, use a special toy for a guard or spray the room with “monster spray” before bedtime. Having a night light can help children with bedtime fears.
Follow a strict diet
Sleep quality can be affected by your child’s eating habits. Do not allow them to indulge in sugary treats and desserts during dinner as it may interfere with their sleep. The Columbia University study found that eating fatty foods and sugary treats can cause sleep disturbances. Alternatively, you can give them bananas, which contain tryptophan, which helps with insomnia. Including fiber-rich food in their meals also helps in making them sleep.
Make Bed Time Fun
Follow a particular time schedule to make your kids sleep on time. There may be times when this works, but it can be counterproductive in the long run since you never know if they are lost in thought under their sheets. A better alternative, especially for pre-schoolers, would be to have a favorite toy that can only be hugged during sleep. This will be a motivating factor to go to bed early.
It has been proven that practicing yoga and exercise is not limited to staying fit but also helps in getting uninterrupted sleep. Make sure your kids get enough playtime in the evening. Kids won’t consider playing outdoors as exercise, but it’s a great way to get exercise. Making them do a few breathing techniques can relieve the congestion if any and give them a sound sleep.
Just like having a sleeping schedule is important likewise having a wake-up time schedule is also essential. You should choose a wake-up time based on how much sleep your child needs and when they go to bed. Being consistent with the schedule is the key. It is generous of you to let your child sleep later on weekends, but it could have a negative impact in the long run.
Nurture Self Soothing
For older kids, anxiety or sleep problems can be part of their life. In spite of the fact that you may have discussed any issues they might be facing with them, they may get up in the middle of the night. Ensure that they calm themselves down and only come to you as a last resort.
A good night’s sleep is vital to brain development, and if your children sleep well, their brains will remain active throughout the day. Due to the fact that kids need 10 to 13 hours of sleep each day, the above-mentioned tips should help make them sleep and arise on time.
Always consult your pediatrician if you have any concerns about your child’s sleeping habits. It may be suggested to see a sleep consultant, or there may be other suggestions you can try, to ensure that the entire family sleeps well!