Tips for Better Sleep For Kids
Sleep is a vital part of proper growth and well-being. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to get a good night’s sleep due to an array of factors. In this read, we are going to look at 5 simple things you can start doing today to help improve you and your kid’s sleep and lead a better lifestyle.
Make a Plan
Start by writing down a bedtime ritual. If you have a baby, it can be as easy as turning on the white-noise gadget or singing a song. If you have an older child, consider asking their suggestion in creating a bedtime plan. Allow them to decide how many books you’ll read together as well as when the cuddles will happen. This is a great way for allowing them to pinpoint their settling needs as well as giving them a sense of control. The next step is to list the steps in a sequential manner- wear the pajamas, brush teeth, read books, sing a song, and turn off the lights. This helps you and the child know exactly what will happen and wire it in the brain. For toddlers who cannot read, consider using a picture book. Review the plan together. When you rehearse this ritual, the kid will internalize it and will rarely ask for things that are not in the plan.
Stick to the Ritual
Following a bedtime routine helps kids feel secure as it offers predictability. You and the child should go to sleep and wake up at the same time, even during the weekends. This means discouraging everyone from taking more than 30-60 minutes in bed as it will only disrupt their biological clock system and make it harder for them to wake up early during school days. For younger children, earlier bedtimes, preferably before 9.00 pm is recommended as they will have adequate sleep and wake up better rested. Younger kids require between 10-12 hours of sleep and so, if they have an early rise for school or daycare, ensure their bedtime is early enough to ascertain a good night’s rest. Make sure that their mattress is comfortable, many sleep issues can be traced back to an uncomfortable mattress, consider upgrading to a Nectar mattress.
Electronic devices are a bad idea before bed as the blue light they emit tends to stimulate the brain. This tends to make children feel wired when they should be sleeping. Also, it can inhibit the production of serotonin and melatonin, hormones essential for inducing sleep. Ensure you turn off the electronic devices at least one hour before bed. This can have other benefits as well. Children who are off the gadgets tend to be more active, thus burn their physical energy, which makes it easier to settle come bedtime.
But what about sleep-inducing devices? For younger children, some parents tend to use special, colored sleep and wake clock in order to help them know when it is bedtime and when it is time to wake up. Wearable gadgets that track sleep such as fitbits are also effective as screening tools for sleep problems. However, they do not act as diagnostic tools. If your kid has a wearable and it shows they are not getting adequate sleep, you should certainly consult a doctor to figure out the issue.
Keep it Positive
You should help the younger ones who cannot tell the time when it is ok to wake up using a special colorful clock that shifts colors when it is time to sleep and vice versa. Consider rewarding them for waiting until the right hour. You can implement a sticker chart and reward 7 consecutive nights with a fun one on one time like playing a board game or giving them a special treat. However, it is important that you keep it positive. Avoid punishing your children for waking up. It might be frustrating to keep walking them back to bed, but the last thing you want is to create negative associations with sleep, bedtime or wake up time.
And there you have it, a few tips that you can start implementing today to help you and your loved ones sleep better.