We all know how hard it is when trying to put our children in bed. Especially when they have too much energy and too many gadgets, toys or matters that keep them awake at night. Even though tucking in children for a goods night rest is no easy task, there are habits we can try to instil in our children.
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Whether it’s adapting their lifestyle, diet or pre-bedtime activities, creating healthy habits before sleep is the best way to make sure our kids are getting enough rest and ensuring good health.
Healthy Sleeping Habits for Your Children
1. Set an individualized bedtime
To create sleeping habits that will ensure your child is healthy and alert for the next day and their long term, you need to know how many hours of sleep they need. Once you figure that out, try to put them to bed at the same time every night.
It means their body clocks are adjusted, and over time, they won’t find sleeping at a certain hour a hard task. It’s ok to let them sleep an hour late on the weekend; you just have to let them wake up an hour later as well.
2. Set a wake-up time
Set an alarm to wake your child up in the morning to make sure they get the right amount of hours of sleep. Warning your child that they have to wake up at a specific hour will encourage them to sleep early.
3. Create a consistent bedtime routine
Create a routine for you and your child to follow. By making a routine with the below points, you’re making your life easier, and you don’t have to keep stressing about them. Creating routines and setting habits will ensure that your child doesn’t miss out on anything important before bed.
4. Turn off the TV
Multiple studies have shown that the light from a TV screen can interfere with the production of melatonin, which is a hormone that helps run our sleep-wake cycle. Same is the case with computers and mobile devices.
This can cause children to wake up at night and possibly develop sleeping disorders in the future. So, it is advised to turn off your TV at least two hours before bedtime.
5. Reduce stress before bedtime
If you or your child is stressed before sleep, aggravated feelings and emotions can minimize sleepiness. Be sure to calm your child down whether it’s by talking to them, giving them a warm cup of milk or a gentle massage.
Lowering their heart rate and making sure they are in a positive mood will help them get ready for better night sleep and feeling refreshed in the morning.
6. Create a comfortable sleeping environment
Make sure there are enough pillows and blankets. Ensure the bed is comfortable enough. Leave a night light in case they are afraid of the dark. By making sure your child’s sleeping environment is perfect, its more comfortable for them to drift off to sleep.
7. Room temperature matters
Especially during this time of the year, the nights can be quite hot. Make sure your child is cool throughout the night. This doesn’t mean blasting the air conditioner throughout the night, but make sure the room temperature is perfect for your child to doze off.
8. Communicate and reassure
One of the common reasons keeping children up at night are feelings of upset, stress, sadness or fear. Before bedtime, talk to your child about what they’re feeling and what’s on their mind.
By reassuring them and letting them vent out there worries and concerns, you’re slowly easing they’re conscious for a better nights sleep.
What You Shouldn’t Do
- Do not overfeed your child at night. As their stomach is trying to digest food, this shouldn’t be done while they’re in bed. Not only does it disrupt their sleep, but it can also be uncomfortable. Also, make sure they don’t drink too much. This can lead to waking up at night to go to the toilet or bed wetting.
- Do not leave toys, gadgets or mobile devices in your child’s room. This runs the risk of them getting up and playing without your knowledge. Even if your child is wise enough to follow your orders, keeping their accessories close by leaves a temptation that will keep them up all night.
- Don’t be so loud once your child is in bed. Many parents think that once their child is tucked in bed, they fall asleep in a matter of minutes. Be mindful that your child may need time to doze off. Which means you need to keep your voice levels, and overall noise down around the house.
All children are different. This means that there is no one single approach that works for all children. By sticking with the above 8 habits, you will get your child off to a good start.
However, if none of them has any effect or result on your child’s current sleeping habit, you can always take them to their doctor or a specialist. This is the best way to identify what is the specific problems in regards to your child’s sleeping habits.
Head over to the Okadoc app to immediately book an appointment with your health practitioner.
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