Sleep is an important part of maintaining good health, and sleep issues aren’t just problems that come with adulthood. It can be challenging for kids to get enough rest, so you won’t get enough either. Bedtime can become a battle zone when your little bundle of joy won’t settle in and fall asleep.
Sleep is of crucial importance to young children. Early in life, they experience tremendous development that affects the brain, body, emotions, and behaviour and sets the stage for their continued growth through childhood and adolescence. In light of this, it is normal for parents to want to make sure that their child gets enough rest.
1. Have a bedtime routine
The first thing you should try and do as a parent is to set a regular bedtime routine for your youngster because this will encourage good sleep patterns. Depending on your child’s age, this might include reading a book, talking about how their day was, or listening to some soothing music. Establishing a regular sleep schedule and proper hygiene routine will help them wind down with ease.
2. Relax before bed
Relaxation is crucial before bedtime in order for kids to fall asleep easier. If your children are energized and stimulated, you might find it hard to put them in bed. As mentioned above, you can calm them with a nice story, gentle music or practising breathing for relaxation. Consider a white noise machine and maybe even a calming scent, like lavender essential oils.
3. Keep a regular sleep schedule
Having consistent bedtimes and wake-up times within 1-2 hours of each other each day can be incredibly beneficial to your child’s sleep quality. A regular sleep schedule will help them keep their clock in a regular pattern. We recommend you stay consistent with sleep even on weekends and holidays because every child needs to sleep for around 9 to 11 hours.
4. Only short and early naps
Younger kids need more sleep than older kids who are in middle or high school. Understand that when kids start to go through puberty and enter adolescence, their sleep patterns can change tremendously. That’s why after the age of 5, you should avoid letting your kid take naps. However, if your little one is still napping after the age of five, try to keep the nap as short as possible (30 minutes) and later than early afternoon. This way, you are avoiding sleep disruptions at night.
5. No electronics before bed
Any device with a lighted screen, such as cell phones, electronic games, tablets, laptops, etc., emit blue light, which can keep your child awake. That’s why we highly recommend you avoid TV shows, movies and computer games in the late afternoon and before bed since it suppresses melatonin levels and delays sleepiness.
6. Set the bedroom environment
Noise and light is a common cause in sleep disruptions. That’s why setting a calming, and soothing bedroom environment can be helpful. You can create one but turning off the lights, closing the windows (prevent outside noises), and turn off electronic devices at least one hour before bedtime. You can even move your child’s clock (if they have one) out of their vision, so they don’t fixate on it.
7. Avoid energizing activities at night
Stimulus activities and exercises before won’t let your child relax and have time to cool off, but be a stimulant instead. You want the child to be calm, not get energized right before bed. Nothing wrong with keeping your kiddo active, but do so during the day. If your children do various activities throughout the day, they will sleep better at night.
8. No heavy meals at night
Your youngster needs lots of nutrients to grow and develop. However, making sure your child has a satisfying evening meal at a reasonable time is essential. You don’t want them to feel hungry nor too full right before bed. Don’t forget that a healthy breakfast will help kick-start your child’s body clock. They can have a nice lunch and a lovely dinner, but heavy meals should be avoided late at night.
9. Avoid caffeine and sugar
Caffeine can be found in energy drinks, coffee, tea, chocolate, coca-cola and numerous other drinks. Both caffeine and sugar beverages are considered a stimulant that can prevent your children from falling asleep. That’s why we advise you to encourage them to avoid these things in the late afternoon and evening.
10. Get natural light during the day
Last but not least, every kid needs to get as much natural light as possible during the day, especially in the morning. That’s because bright light suppresses melatonin, which helps your child feel awake and alert during the day. The best part is that due to the increase in melatonin levels at night, they will feel sleepy and be ready for bedtime.
Establishing a stable sleep schedule and pre-bed routine can help cut down on night-to-night variability in sleep. Also, having good sleep hygiene can do wonders. It is easier for the little ones to fall asleep and stay that way when they have an opportunity to use up their energy during the day and a calming environment at night.
We hope we were able to answer the how and why when it comes down to ’10 Sleep tips for children’, and now it’s our turn to hear from you if any questions regarding the subject were left unanswered. If you want to share some information, we would gladly hear about it in the comments below.