Children need to sleep because it helps their bodies and minds to recover from a hard day, especially during the school year. Everyone has occasional sleep issues, but if your child consistently struggles to obtain a decent night’s sleep, there are things you can do to help.
Only half of the school-age children in the UK receive a minimum of nine hours of sleep each week, according to a recent study. The statistics are comparable for kids of different ages. Infants typically only get between 11 and 12 hours of sleep every night, despite the fact that they need 14 to 15 hours. Despite needing 13 to 14 hours of sleep per night, toddlers sleep for one hour less than this.
Children who lack sleep may experience anxiety, difficulty concentrating, impatience, and even difficulties with their mental and physical health.
Here are some tips to make sure your children get a good night’s sleep.
Make their environment cosy.
Like adults, kids need a tranquil retreat in their bedrooms.
Keep in mind that clutter is the enemy of sleep to start with. Imagine getting them to agree to go to bed only to find their favourite toy on the mattress. This would prolong your problems by at least 30 minutes.
Second, it’s crucial that the space be the proper temperature, which should range from 16 to 20 degrees. Although a room that is completely dark is ideal, most kids will feel more comfortable with a nightlight, which is also appropriate.
Last but not least, make sure they are lying on a firm mattress covered in nice, comfortable linens. Eco-friendly, ultra-soft bamboo bed linens are readily accessible online and would be the ideal finishing touch to your child’s room.
Create a sleep schedule.
Healthy sleep patterns are encouraged by a regular bedtime routine. Bedtime and wake-up time should generally coincide each day. A nighttime routine for younger kids that includes a bath, story, and bed may be beneficial. For older kids, the pattern can involve a brief chat about their day with you, some alone time to unwind, and then lights out.
This will maintain the regular regularity of your child’s internal clock. During the holidays and weekends, try to avoid making significant schedule adjustments since this will quickly upset the pattern you’ve worked so hard to build.
Additionally, naps have an impact on the sleep cycle. Two “napping commandments” should be kept in mind: never take naps later in the afternoon and keep them brief (up to 20 minutes).
Relax before going to sleep
Before bed, encourage your child to relax. Older kids might like relaxing activities like reading a book, listening to calming music, or practising deep breathing. Your youngster might need a longer wind-down period before the lights are turned off if falling asleep takes longer than 30 minutes.
Encourage playtime and exercise.
After a day at school or kindergarten, many kids have a tendency of relaxing in front of the TV, computer, or tablet. It’s normal for kids to want a break, but exercise promotes relaxation in both kids and adults, and it’s much better for sleep than gazing at a screen.
Of course, not every kid likes the same things to do. The ideal physical activity for your child should be discussed with them. While some kids prefer athletics to outdoor activities, others prefer sports to dance.
Before going to bed, unplug
The majority of modern parents grew up watching cartoons before bed, therefore you might want to keep doing it if you liked it as a child. This is often a mistake that is made though, as exposure to blue light can lengthen the time it takes a child to fall asleep. Once they finally fall asleep, it may also cause disturbances.
The shift from being awake to the “dreamworld” is much easier after a soothing bath or bedtime tale. When it comes to older kids and teenagers, this gets a little more tricky, but you may plan an automatic smartphone shutdown and help them to find a book they might like.
Learn the reason they can’t sleep
Try to identify the root of your child’s difficulty falling or staying asleep. Sometimes the cause is as straightforward as being over excited or not moving around enough during the day. The first step to fixing their sleep problem and coming up with a plan for future better sleep is to pinpoint the cause of it.
Don’t overfeed them or let them eat too close to bedtime
Never let your kids go to bed hungry, especially little ones. On the other side, going to bed full after a large meal is worse since the digestive system isn’t given the time it needs to digest the meal. Children should have a filling dinner at a suitable hour (about two or three hours before bedtime). Avoid serving processed, fried, or high-fat foods. Meal selection is also crucial.
Children must get enough sleep for both their own wellbeing and your peace of mind. These recommendations will help you help them get the rest they need.