Is your child like an uncontainable ball of energy from sunrise to sunset? Would you like to ensure that your child is getting adequate sleep? The sleeping habits of children in a technological era have become much different than in the past; with so many distractions and stimuli, it can be difficult for many youngsters to wind down at the end of the night.
The National Sleep Foundation conducted a poll that indicated that American children are suffering from some considerable sleep deprivation issues. According to the NSF poll, two out of three children have reported having some type of sleeping disorder by the age of 10. The following list was compiled to provide some options to help your child get better sleep.
Set a Designated Bedtime
Most of us have memories of the dreaded bedtime from childhood. While no child likes to go to sleep at the same time every night, this is the hallmark of healthy sleep. Having an official bedtime is the first step toward creating a good sleep regimen for your child.
Regardless of whether your child is sleepy or not, they must go to bed at the designated time. They will eventually begin to become conditioned to sleeping at bedtime.
Set a Designated Wake-up Time
It is just as important to awaken at a specific time, but a wake-up time is also needed. The need to be punctual for school, and being productive overall is interwoven into our lives on a schedule that most of us are locked into.
When children know they have to awaken at a specific time, they subconsciously realize that they need a decent amount of sleep to perform well at school the next morning. This reinforces the reasoning behind following a sleep schedule.
Establish Morning and Evening Rituals
Having morning and evening routines, just after rising and just before bed, develops the discipline needed to be well-rested and productive in the mornings. Before the official bedtime, there should be a time for bathing, getting outfits ready for school, etc.
Switch to a Non-Toxic Mattress
Did you know that there are potentially harmful chemicals in most mattresses? Mattress manufacturers tend to employ the use of chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in their fabrication process. These toxic chemicals emit the smell that is familiar in most mattresses.
Children’s bodies are often not equipped to fully protect from the effects of toxic chemicals. If children are having issues trying to get to sleeping, sometimes then need a mattress with non-toxic chemicals.
Turn Off Electronics
Electronic devices have matrices of LED lights that power their screens. So, when your child is using these devices at night, it is literally like staring into a light bulb. The light from these screens makes children resistant to sleep.
Aside from the obvious addiction that many children have to these devices, the bright lighting from electronic devices is enough to disrupt sleeping routines in people young and old. Turn off electronics to help your kids get better sleep!
Reduce Stimuli Before Bedtime
Your child needs a wind-down period that starts a couple of hours before bedtime. This will give them ample time to calm down and get into the mode needed to induce sleep. Any activity that has the potential to stimulate or generate any level of excitement needs to cease two hours before and an hour after bedtime. This will ensure that your child can get to sleep at a reasonable time and won’t be awakened during that time.
Children are often starved for attention and don’t really understand what it is they need. Before the go to bed is a time that children often associate with nurturing. To satisfy this need, spend some quality time with your child about 10-15 minutes before bedtime. This will result in fond memories and making time for your child nightly.
Create a Sleepy Ambiance
A calm, sleep-inducing ambiance has the power to lull your little one to sleep. Make this kind of environment in your home before bedtime, and you are sure to alter your child’s behavior prior to going to sleep. Calm music, dim lights, and soft vocal tones are enough to do the trick and help your kids get better sleep!
Monitor Your Child’s Sleep Patterns
You will need to keep a watchful eye on your child in the early stages of developing a sleep routine. You will even want to periodically check on them during the night to make sure they are not sneaking out of bed or using electronic devices.
There will be a point when your child will automatically do what is required without debate or discussion. This is when you know that the routine has officially become a habit.
Consistency is required in the effort to battle the countless number of things seeking to capture your child’s attention and hold them captive from enjoying the restorative and quality sleep their growing bodies require.
If your child is dealing with sleeping challenges, it will take time and discipline to correct the issue. By staying vigilant and establishing routines around sleeping, your child will eventually get into the habit of good sleeping. It is a matter of altering the routine into one that promotes good sleep. What ways will you use to help your kids get better sleep?