If you are a parent, you have undoubtedly experienced the nightly challenge with your kids, and that challenge involves getting them to go to bed and sleep. Most parents can get their kids to go to bed, but they can’t manage to ensure they stay there. This is not easy, but it’s essential for your kids. If you want them to form healthy sleeping habits that will last their entire life, you have to work on this as early as possible.
What Happens When Children Don’t Get Enough Sleep?
When kids don’t get proper sleep, they may have a tough time controlling their emotions and feelings. They may seem more irritable or even hyperactive. Kids who are sleep deprived often have problems with their behavior have trouble paying attention and learning, and they can also experience problems with obesity. For this reasons, it’s critical to ensure your kid gets the sleep he or she really needs.
The most important part of helping your kids develop healthy sleeping habits is to make sure they have regular sleep schedules and pre-bed rituals. This helps your kid to fall asleep quickly and function optimally when they wake up. Generally speaking, once healthy sleeping habits kick in, your kids will fall asleep faster, stay asleep and always wake in the morning refreshed. Before trying to implement the following tips provided by Counting Sheep Sleep Research, keep in mind that every child is different and you may have to bend the rules a bit to make them work for your kid. The most important thing to keep in mind is to look for a routine that works for the entire family and to stick to it strictly. (See also: Six Best Tips On How Your Baby Can Have Safe Sleep)
1. Make Sleep a Priority
If you want to make your kid go to bed and stay there, you have to do the same thing. Remember that you are his or her role model. If you are trying to impose particular rules to your kids, but it’s clear that you are breaking them every day, why would you child listen to you? So, the key is to set regular sleep and wake schedules for the entire family and only for the kids. You will have to follow this even on weekends and holidays. Your kids are getting enough rest if they drift off within 30 minutes of going to bed and when they wake up quickly in the morning.
2. Take Sleep Problems Seriously
If you notice your child has sleep issues, take them seriously. For example, signs of sleep problems may include the following:
- sleeping troubles such as the inability to fall asleep or frequently waking up
- resisting to go to bed
- difficulties breathing during sleep
- loud or heavy breathing during sleeping
It is also essential to observe the daytime behavior of your kids. If your child is sleepy, seems tired or cranky, you should consider visiting a sleep clinic.
3. Work as a Team
If you have sleep troubles or it seems that a sleep strategy that you tried to implement doesn’t work, you have to think of another one. It’s essential to work as a team, and that also includes your kids, no matter how young it is. Remember, if you don’t work together, you can’t expect your child to learn or change his or her behavior.
4. Bedtime Routine and Bedtime Rituals
People are beings of routine and implementing one for your kids will really work and do wonders. Many studies have shown that a consistent bedtime routine improves sleep in both healthy children and kids with sleep problems.
Bedtime rituals are especially important because they help your kid associate the bedroom with sleep and relaxation. When it comes to creating a routine, there are no strict rules. Basically, you should include all the things you kid needs to go to sleep, such as brushing their teeth, washing up, putting on their PJs, drinking water, having a snack and so on. However, you should also include some things that your kid considers fun, such as reading a story, singing a song or similar. It is important that all activities are calming and relaxing, and not stimulating. The routine shouldn’t be longer than 30 minutes.
5. Sleep Environment
It is imperative to make sure your kid’s environment is comfortable and optimized for peaceful slumber. The room should be quiet, dark and slightly cool. Kids may not feel comfortable being in the total dark, so you should consider getting them a night lamp. Leaving the hall light on and the door to the bedroom slightly open will also work. Since bedtime means children will be separated from the parents, you should get them a toy or a blanket that will provide them a sense of security and comfort. (See also: [Infographic] How to Get a Good Night Sleep)
About The Author:
Misty Jones is a health and wellness expert, author, columnist. She used to deal in fitness, supplement, bodybuilding, and natural weight loss industry and has been extensively published. Her frequently groundbreaking journals and articles can be found in many publications like SheIsPicky.Com. She has been coauthor in various researches relating to health and sports nutrition found in many peer-reviewed journals and websites.