Sleep Tips For Children Of All Ages

The only way we can recharge our bodies after a long day is by sleeping. Sleeping better helps us stay active and function better metabolically, physically, and emotionally. Moreover, sleeping for as long as required helps us form and consolidate our memories.

Sleep also contributes a lot to our behavior and attention. What this means is that the reason why most kids are not performing well in school is because of reduced sleep. Kids who experience sleepless nights might be mistaken as suffering from ADHD. That is because of the symptoms they have, such as being distracted easily, being more impulsive or hyperactive, and having a problem concentrating.

1Limit Access To Electronic Devices At Night

Digital gadgets, such as video games, cell phones, and television, seem to be getting all your kid's attention. According to statistics, young minds also get connected to these devices. These digital screens can be addictive, and as everyone becomes glued to their screens, they increase the chances of living like strangers. However, studies also indicate that sometimes these screens can get in the way of sleep. It can be an issue for kids since they will not be able to focus in school if they do not get enough rest.

Do not allow your kids to participate in video games or watch television for at least one hour before going to bed. Instead, do something creative and quiet like reading a storybook or taking a bath. Doing such things can help your kids fall asleep. That is why it is advisable not to keep screens, computers, and TVs in your kids bedroom because these interfere with their sleep. A study in January 2015 involving 2,000 kids showed statistics that the children in 4th to 7th grade do not sleep better when exposed to smartphones or other screens during bedtime.

2Keep Bedtime At The Same Time Every Night

Expecting your kid to sleep at a specified period can interfere with their sleep. For example, guardians and parents may allow school kids to change their bedtime and extend their time watching late-night movies or texting and emailing friends during weekends. Not sticking to the same sleeping routine can cause the kids to feel tired each morning and have problems falling asleep during regular bedtime hours.

You may allow your kids to sleep more during weekends, but this will not help them wake up early (as many parents have witnessed). Moreover, allowing your kids to sleep late will only cause them to be sleepy in the morning. Sleeping late only adds more burden to your kids since they will not be able to recover from all the "sleep debt" that is building up as time goes by. Your kids may not have a problem staying up late, especially if their friends stay up late as well. However, make sure that your kids should get at least 9 hours or more of sleep; as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation, kids aged between 6 to 13 should sleep not less than nine hours.

3Stick To A Good Bedtime Routine

Kids need to engage in a bedtime routine that helps them fall asleep. Examples of such habits are listening to music, taking a warm bath to help the body relax, and even reading a book. Moreover, doing these things more often will make your child get used to it within a short period. You also get an opportunity to bond with your kids when you read them a bedtime story.

A bedtime routine should help kids fall asleep; they must not spend more time watching television or playing video games. Spending time staring at screens will make falling asleep difficult for kids because of all the stimulation they get after playing games or watching TV. That is why you must introduce a bedtime routine to your kids and make sure that they stick to it. Let them get used to the idea, which is either taking a bath or reading a book before bed.

4Be On The Same Page As Your Partner

It is also crucial that you talk to your partner and kids about the bedtime routine you are about to introduce. That is because working together will make things easier for everyone, especially for kids, since it is not easy for them to adapt to new changes. Therefore, make sure that you are united and in agreement to establish the routine slowly.

Explain to your kids why they need enough sleep so that they can understand why you are introducing a bedtime routine. If you find it challenging to explain this to your kids, you can try and use pictures that show different healthy activities, such as reading books, brushing the teeth, and changing clothes. When kids get used to these routines, they will start requesting more of the bedtime story, a drink of water, and even a hug. Therefore, it is up to you, as a parent, to improve the health of your kids by helping them sleep better. Teach your kids to stay in bed once its bedtime so that they can get enough rest.

5Recognize When Your Child Needs To Go To Bed But Doesn't Want To

If your kids are proactive and always energized, that does not mean that they should stay up late. The only reason why they remain energized and active during late hours is because of being tired. Toddlers having a problem taking a nap usually have this kind of behavior. School-aged kids are required to sleep because they do not get naps during the day or admit they feel tired, which does not mean that they can stay awake. Therefore, if you notice that your kids still have energy during bedtime, then you should seize the activity or routine and prepare him or her for sleep.

Sometimes, it can be challenging to get your child to sleep, but what matters most is that you stick to your bedtime routine. Be consistent and make sure that your kids are comfortable each night so that they can get enough sleep. Moreover, make sure that the kid's bedroom is cozy and cold, especially for kids who like covering themselves with heavy blankets and then wake up after a few hours because of the sweat and discomfort. If your kids have such behavior, you can try and cover them using thinner blankets or pajamas.

6Use Essential Oils

Various scents are known to help the body relax and fall asleep; an excellent example of such scent is lavender. It has a peaceful and calming scent that helps the body to relax. Other scents that are known to have the same effects are Roman chamomile, vetiver, and orange. These natural scents are available in the form of sprays and essential oil rolls, and you can use any of these scents in your child's bedroom. All you have to do is spray it around the bedroom or on the pillow.

All of these products get derived through a natural method, which is why using essential oils is considered safe. That means you do not have to worry about causing an allergy or any other health complications to your kids when you start using these essential oils. Some essential oils, such as Roman chamomile, are considered calmative oils because of the soothing properties they contain. That is why it is efficient in helping the body stay calm.

7Use Before Bedtime To Bond And Connect

Always make time for your kids so that you can connect before bedtime. You can read a storybook or find out how their day was. You can also listen to music together as you wait for him or her to fall asleep. However, make sure that the music you listen to is soothing to help your child settle down and relax.

Another way of helping your kids relax and stay calm is to participate in yoga. Yoga provides an excellent opportunity to bond with your kids, thanks to the moment of quiet reflection. Yoga will help them prepare for bed physically and mentally. Children have feelings, too, and these feelings can sometimes interfere with their sleep when they are overwhelmed. That is why you must take time to cuddle and connect with your kids to help their minds relax.

8Watch Your Child's Caffeine Intake

Taking caffeine can reduce the chances of your kid falling asleep; that is why you should always check their diet. Make sure that your child's evening meal or dessert does not have any snacks that contain caffeine. Keep your kids away from things such as chocolate milk, chocolate chip cookie, and chocolate treats if you want them to sleep better. That is because chocolate contains high levels of caffeine.

Besides being the primary cause of sleeping problems, caffeine also causes the kids' blood pressure to rise. Kids should not be allowed to consume a lot of caffeine because it worsens their anxiety and affects their moods. Furthermore, your kids can start experiencing headaches if they take caffeine for a more extended period. Besides chocolate treats, other products contain high levels of caffeine, such as energy drinks, non-cola sodas, energy bars, and even sports drinks.

9Allow For A Wind-Down Time Before Bed

It is not easy for both the young and old to fall asleep quickly without engaging in a bedtime routine. It is especially true for school-aged kids who need enough sleep to be able to face the next day. Furthermore, you must give your kids enough time to get used to bedtime routines so that it can be easy for them to fall asleep without wasting any time.

You can help your child prepare for bed by making sure they are at peace during bath time and when brushing their teeth or reading a book. Get rid of all the toys, and encourage them to do something that will assist them in relaxing, such as reading a storybook. If not, you can try and help their body relax by engaging in a few stretching exercises or doing yoga poses.

Nothing looks as great and as peaceful as a sleeping baby. However, you need to be aware of the fact that their brains are still active even when they're sleeping. The mind plays the job of distinguishing what is important and what is not. Getting a good night's sleep is vital, especially for growing kids who are attending school. They need enough sleep to help them grow both physically and mentally.

Children often find it difficult to control their emotions when they do not get enough sleep. They can be hyper or irritable, which can be a problem for the parents. Kids who do not get enough sleep also have behavioral issues, such as learning new things and paying attention. That is why you must help your child get enough sleep.

Nicole Ross

Nicole S. Ross is passionate about using stories in early childhood education. She wrote our Alphabet Book Series to help children fall in love with reading while learning the alphabet.