Not being able to sleep soundly through the night is a problem that many people deal with. It’s not just a problem that’s exclusive to adults either. Sometimes, kids have a hard time sleeping and that’s really bad for their health. More than that, if your kids are not sleeping, chances are you won’t get to sleep either.
If you want to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep, you need to take note of these helpful tips to keep your kids in check:
1. Establish a regular sleeping and waking pattern.
It’s important to get our bodies into a regular rhythm of going to bed and getting up, and this goes for kids as well. This is easier during school days because they really need to get up at a certain time, but make sure that even during the weekends, their wake-up time stays within two hours of what their bodies are used to.
Enforce their sleeping time strictly so that they also get used to it and eventually build the discipline to maintain it even without your urging.
2. Come up with relaxing activities before bedtime.
Whether it’s the habit of going to their room to read a bedroom story or tucking them in every single night, it would help if you come up with a regular routine that helps them relax before going to bed.
Normally, the bedtime routine of taking a bath and reading them a story before bed can help the kids get ready for sleeping. As they grow older, they usually change this habit to reading a book or listening to music.
3. Ban all devices.
Devices should be nowhere near the bedroom, especially at night when the priority should be falling asleep and staying that way until the morning.
The problem with devices is that it contains so many distractions that are hard to say no to. From social media to games to e-books, there are a million things that can distract your child from falling asleep, and you should keep these things away.
On top of that, the blue light from screens suppresses melatonin levels and delays sleepiness even further. That’s why you should consider just banning all devices from the bedroom, especially it it’s a school night.
4. Make sure your kids feel safe at night.
One of the most common reasons why kids can’t sleep at night is their overly active imagination, which can bring about so many unwarranted fears.
It’s easy to dismiss these fears as an adult, but it could be very real for the kids, and your job is to make sure that all their fears disappear.
Feeling safe and sound is an important precursor to falling asleep, so it’s best if you’re there to comfort and assure them.
5. Watch what they eat and drink.
Dinner should be taken at a reasonable time, and your child shouldn’t eat too little or too much, because this will make sleeping harder. If your child is either too hungry or too full, he or she will feel very uncomfortable and therefore won’t be able to sleep right away.
It’s also important to make sure that your child is not taking food and beverages with caffeine during the afternoon or at night. This includes Coca Cola, energy drinks, tea, and coffee.
6. Maximize the daytime.
Just as the night should be used to rest and recharge, the daytime should be maximized for activities under the sun. Going out during the day and getting plenty of natural light will help a lot because it helps the body produce enough melatonin to trigger the sleep cycle.
Being active during the day will also drain their energy and tire them out, which is perfect because when nighttime comes, they would definitely feel the need to sleep.
7. Avoid daytime naps.
This can’t be avoided in younger toddlers who need more hours of sleep anyway, but if your child is older than 5, you should start banning daytime naps that are longer than 20 minutes.
That’s because these naps will make it harder for the kids to sleep at night. Naps will make their bodies more rested and even mess with the sleeping schedule and rhythm, so it’s best if you avoid them.
8. Check the bed.
If your child is having a hard time sleeping at night and you’ve ruled out all other possible reasons, you might want to take a look at the bed as well. Mattress comfort is critical in ensuring that your child gets the sleep that he or she needs.
If the mattress is not right and there are issues that need to be addressed, then a simple change in the mattress could do wonders for your child’s sleeping habits.