Sleep is vital for maintaining your little one fit and the key to their incredible growth. But sometimes, making your toddler sleep isn’t always an easy task. Even those considered as “good sleepers” can have occasions when they don’t want to sleep, or they might wake up in the middle of the night and cannot settle themselves to sleep back again. Perhaps your child is in a sleep-resistance phase, or they have teething discomfort that hindered them from settling down. Whatever the reason, parents should have techniques to have them tucked in bed most effectively.
It is with utmost importance to know that sleeping is a significant activity for your kids’ growth. Kids who sleep the number of advised hours regularly improve learning and memory, a better attention span, more assertive behavior, more enjoyable mood and physical health, and overall development in their quality of life. But how can parents accomplish this?
Here are easy and practical tips to make your children sleep effectively:
- Set a bedtime schedule
A sleeping schedule works with your child’s natural biological clock to improve drowsing off with consistency. Bedtimes are most helpful when they’re regular, so try to keep the same bedtime on weekends as on school evenings. Adjusting bedtimes during the weekend will make it more challenging for kids to manage their regular weekday schedules.
- Impose gadget curfew
The all-presence of gadgets makes this rule challenging to execute, but it’s completely worth it. TVs, smartphones, and tablets release a kind of blue light that contains melatonin, a hormone that encourages sleep. Children may be individually vulnerable to the impacts of light from screens. It also excites the brain, causing it harder to turn down for sleep.
- Allow them to play and exercise
It is proven and tested that physical activity benefits people of all ages to fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer. Children require at least one hour of exercise daily. Just ensure to avoid strenuous activity within two hours of bedtime. Otherwise, your child may feel wound-up and get it harder to fall asleep.
- Never tell or watch scary content
Feeling scared or bothered is a typical reason kids can’t sleep. So it’s no surprise that scary or extreme movies, video games, and even books in the evening are connected to children’s sleep troubles. If your kids like the spooky material, let them watch it in the daytime.
- Caffeine is a big NO during the night
We all understand that caffeine is a stimulant that can make it more difficult to fall asleep and decrease sleep quality. Additionally, typical drinks like soda, coffee, and energy beverages, even chocolate, can significantly affect your kids’ bodies. Don’t allow your child to consume caffeine within six hours of bedtime, or rather, avoid it altogether.
- Pets are not allowed during bedtime
It is surely tempting to have pets snuggling around, playing, but a pet’s actions and noises during the night can awaken your kids from a peaceful slumber. Keep your furry family member sleeping outside of your child’s room for a few evenings to see if that improves. To make the transition more comfortable, include telling goodnight to pets in the bedtime cycle.
- Design a sleepy room ambiance
Customizing your child’s bedroom is an essential part of causing fast and seamless shuteye. That should include beds and decorations inside your kids’ rooms, and weighted blankets can aid sleep and reduce anxiety. Individuals with insomnia are more prone to be distracted by an uncomfortable bedroom, making sleep even harder. These points can help you plan the ideal sleep set up for your little ones:
- Room Temperature
Both the body and brain cool down in preparation for sleep, and a stuffy bedroom can disturb this. Try to retain the thermostat around 65 degrees.
- Loud and Distracting Noises
According to research, even moderate sound disturbances can influence sleep quality, even if the sleeper never awakens. Put noise-blocking curtains to avoid street noise. You can also utilize a fan to sink out distracting sounds.
- Light Decorations
Dimming indoor lights as bedtime methods, and have your child’s bedroom as dark as possible. It helps healthy levels of melatonin and helps your child’s natural biological clock.
- Calming Scents
Soothing smells can have mild sedative forces. Use essential oils, a room diffuser, or other potpourri essences to afford a relaxing, sleep-inducing smell.
- Overcoming bedtime worry.
Childhood anxiety is steadily progressing as they grow up. Stress is identified to interrupt sleep in all ages, so anything that can reduce disturbing before bed is helpful. Help your child learn to control their concerns with these techniques:
- Teach them to express themselves through journals
Inspire your child to get their worrying thoughts out of their head and write unto paper. It can also help them to compose about the good things that occurred in the day. Concentrating on the positive will help children feel safer.
- Mindfulness activities
Mindfulness exercises like meditation are demonstrated to calm the nervous system and reduce stress hormones. There are many kid-friendly activities that parents and children can do collectively. These often consist of easy breathing techniques, body awareness, or guided imagery.
When To See The Doctor
After making all the approaches above and thinking that your child still troubles sleeping despite your greatest efforts, it may be time to have a schedule with their pediatrician. There can be more severe childhood insomnia problems, such as restless leg syndrome or childhood sleep apnea.
Some reasons to check out to decide Doctor’s appointment:
- Psychological or developmental condition speculation
- Obvious daytime sleepiness
- Regular or sharp snoring and other abnormal breathing while sleeping.
- Medicines or supplements to help in sleep
Before the Doctor’s appointment, it would be useful to keep track and write down your observations so the Doctor can have a reference. It should be a nightly recording of your child’s bed and nap times, length of sleep, and activities. A sleep journal serves to distinguish patterns and potential problems to discuss. Without you actively helping and participating, it would be difficult to sort out the real cause of your child’s unusual sleepy habit. Parents’ support always is the best advice to solve any child’s predicaments.
For more information on restful sleep see our other article: Restful Sleep — Critical at a Time Like This by Dr. Katie Takacs, D. C., D.A.B.C.I, Gateway Natural Medicine & Diagnostic Center