Ways to Help Your Kids Sleep
Sleep is essential for good health, but problems falling asleep are not limited to adulthood. Kids can have trouble sleeping; if they can’t sleep, you can’t sleep. It can be highly frustrating for parents when their child struggles to fall asleep. The reasons why children struggle to sleep vary. Finding the precise cause is similar to asking a chef why your cookies didn’t turn out right. Sometimes you need an expert to walk you through each step to identify the culprit. Fortunately, there are a few general troubleshooting methods.
Bedtime can become a battleground when children refuse to settle in and fall asleep. But there are ways to improve your chances of winning. Try these strategies and learn how to fight and win the battle! Consistent, early bedtimes are essential for raising a well-rested child.
Cool the Room
Your body needs external cooling to help it adjust to the 2-3 degree shift in core body temperature that takes place at night. As your body temperature decreases, you become less alert. Your metabolism also slows down, which lessens nighttime hunger. To keep your child warm, dress in breathable fabrics and use a sleep sack instead of a blanket until the child is old enough to sleep with one. You can also warm up your toes before going to bed.
Dim the Lights
With its warm, reddish hue, the fading light of the setting sun signals your body to begin producing the sleep hormone melatonin. Although melatonin does not cause sleep, it is an important component of sleep. Melatonin is the orchestra conductor for the body, signaling to each system that it is time to begin the night’s music.
Once your child is in bed for the night, keep the bedroom as dark as possible. Even with your eyelids closed, light has an impact on your sleep. To avoid disrupting your sleep, there is an increasing number of smart bulbs that allow you to control the intensity and color of the light.
Turn Off the Screens
Electronic media is seductive. No child has ever wanted to stop watching their favorite show to sleep! Even if you successfully convince your child that it is time to go to bed, it is difficult for their minds to slow down and rest. Children who watch TV or play video games before bed sleep 30 minutes less than children who do not.
Consistent Bedtime Routine
Newborns, young kids, and preschoolers require routines in particular. After dinner, it is suggested that the remainder of the evening include light playtime, a bath, brushing teeth, a bedtime story, and then bed. Aim for a soothing and relaxing routine, creating the ideal bedtime environment.
Have a Healthy Meal
Consuming balanced meals at regular intervals assists our bodies in developing biological rhythms. Eating breakfast at the same time every day will prime your body to wake up hungry. A family dinner in the evening signals to the body that it is time to sleep. Caffeinated foods and beverages, such as chocolate and soda, should be avoided by children.
Calming Your Kid’s Fears
Anxiety causes the body to produce cortisol, which impairs its ability to fall asleep quickly and naturally. Talk to your children about any fears they may have, whether it’s a fear of monsters under the bed, darkness, or a real-world concern, and try to comfort them. Deep breathing exercises and guided meditations can also help kids relax before bedtime and fall asleep naturally.
Consider Medical Issues
Sleep apnea may be to blame if your child has good sleep habits but is constantly tired. A child with sleep apnea stops breathing for short periods during the night. If your child snores and gets a whole night’s sleep but does not appear to be rested in the morning, discuss it with their doctor.
Don’t Skip the Story
A bedtime story can help your child forget their worries by refocusing their mind in a positive, imaginary world. Reading to children aloud has improved vocabulary and development, and bedtime is an ideal time to do so. Find a book that the entire family will enjoy.
Communicate With Your Kids
Talking to older children (5-8 years) before they sleep is essential because school can be difficult, and they may be experiencing anxiety. Anxiety has been linked to sleep deprivation, so if your child is having trouble sleeping, this could be the cause. Discuss school or anything else that you suspect is affecting them. Even if a solution is unavailable, talking is beneficial and may result in better sleep.
Make Bedtime Fun
You could make it mandatory for your children to sleep at a certain time to get them to sleep. Particularly for preschoolers, they can have a favorite toy that they can only hug during sleep time. This will serve as a motivator to get to bed early.