Help Your Kid Develop Healthy Sleep Habits
If you are a parent, you already know that getting your kid to go to bed can be quite a challenge. They are still in the age when they don’t look forward to sleeping. Young kids don’t understand the importance of rest, and its influence on their lives.
One of the most important things that you can do for your children is to help them develop proper sleep habits and teach them about the importance of these habits. Kids that don’t get enough sleep during the night can be irritable and have a hard time controlling their emotions.
Additionally, if they are sleep-deprived, they will be more prone to behavior issues and have troubles paying attention. They will also be at risk of becoming overweight and having impaired memory. It is up to you as a parent to do everything you can for your child so that he or she develops healthy sleep habits.
If your kids develop and maintain healthy habits, they will fall asleep without any difficulties, stay asleep, and wake up refreshed and well-rested. Every child is different, and the best thing you can do for them is to build a routine and stick with it. Set a routine that promotes a good night’s sleep.
One of the things that you can do is to establish a sleep schedule. You should teach your children to go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time every day of the week, even on weekends. Consistent schedules are associated with better health, better sleep, and decreased risk of obesity.
Pre-sleep routine is also very important. It can include, for example, a dinner, a bath, putting on PJs, brushing teeth, and reading a bedtime story. You can also talk about your day; just make sure that you always do all of these things in the same order. According to research, a proper routine improves sleep quality in children with sleep problems and helps develop proper habits that allow for quicker sleep at an appropriate time.
Your children should have varied interesting activities during the day. Make sure that they get enough exercise during the day and enough fresh air. Don’t let them stay at home the entire day watching television or playing video games as it won’t do them any good. Physical activity is a vital part of establishing a daily routine.
If your kids have troubles falling asleep, and staying asleep at night, you should make sure that their bedroom environment supports sleep. It should be dark and quiet. In case your child is afraid of the dark, a nightlight is acceptable. You can also open the bedroom door and turn on the hall light.
Additionally, make sure that they are comfortable while sleeping. If they sleep on an old, uncomfortable mattress, you can’t expect them to get well-rested during the night. If this is the case, getting a new mattress designed especially for your child’s needs will help.
It would be the best idea not to add a TV in their bedroom and not to fill it up with toys. It should be a place to sleep, not a place to have fun and play. Of course, you can add a couple of things, such as their favorite toy, as it can ease the separation anxiety and help them feel safe in case of nightmares and bad dreams. However, you shouldn’t overdo it.
Sometimes, kids need more than three meals a day, and if they are still hungry before they go to sleep, a bedtime snack can help them stay fueled until the morning. Your children shouldn’t go to bed hungry, but they shouldn’t overeat either. If they eat too much before the bed, they will have troubles staying asleep during the night.
It is the best idea to prepare a light evening snack for them. No matter if it is milk with cereals, peanut butter, or a piece of fruit, it will help them improve the quality of sleep. Heavy meals should be avoided within a couple of hours of bedtime.
Caffeine is responsible for keeping us awake. Many adults drink coffee in the morning so that they have enough energy during the day. However, caffeine can also be found in energy drinks, colas, chocolates, and ice-tea. Your kid should avoid these products in the late afternoon as they can interfere with his or her sleep.
You should be aware that bedtime should begin when your kid is drowsy, not overtired. Some of the signs of drowsiness include yawning, slower motions, drooping eyelids, and decreased activity. It is crucial to know how to recognize these signs as it will help you improve your child’s sleep habits. When kids become overtired, they can have troubles falling asleep. Overtiredness can be recognized by crankiness, eye rubbing, fussiness, and irritability.