The sight of a well-relaxed child sleeping peacefully is one of the best feelings for parents. A child who gets adequate sleep is guaranteed to have good health, too. This is because even when the child is wrapped in his or her blanket and sound asleep, the brain constantly works to learn and unlearn from the day’s experiences which in turn, is a part of the child’s overall developmental process.
However, just by tucking your child into bed does not mean that your kids will be sound asleep. As a result of multiple factors such as allergies and sleeping disorders, your child might not be able to get the much-deserved rest.
Parents are the inspiration for their children and good sleeping habits maintained by them enable their children to follow a healthy lifestyle.
Here are a set of suggestions that are going to help your child sleep peacefully and be healthy:
Have a bedtime ritual
As a family, set clearly defined time for waking up, sleeping, exercising, and together, enjoy at least one meal in a day. Get a plan in place that your child is supposed to follow before they retire for the day. If your child is no more a toddler, you can have their inputs as well in creating the plan.
List on the steps to be followed in the right order such as change into your nightwear, brush your teeth, read a favorite story, wish mom-dad goodnight, and go to sleep.
Spend time together
It is generally observed that many kids become restless around bedtime because they seek more attention and time from their parents. Usually, in the case of working parents, children get to spend time only in the evening and spending some time with them before sleeping is a good idea. This also gives them the attention of their caregiver. Talk to your kid about any highlights of the day and answer any questions that they might have. You can even reward kids if they wait up till the sleeping time by not falling asleep earlier on a particular day when they are tired.
Keep a track of the screen time
Dealing with teens when it comes to sleeping on time, the biggest deterrent is the plethora of electronic devices that have become a part of their lives. The blue light from the electronic devices stimulates the brain into a state of wakefulness. Make sure that laptops, television, phones, and tablets are turned off approximately an hour before their sleep time.
A plan will be helpful in setting boundaries to keep excessive blue light before sleep away. In the case of infants, it is recommended not to hand over any electronic device to them at an early age. This will allow the kids to have abundant time to indulge in outdoor activities and get the required physical exercise rather than spending time glued to the screens.
Create an ideal sleeping environment
Your child’s bedroom shouldn’t be filled with bright lights prior to bedtime. Keep toys away from the bed so that the child sees it as a place to relax and not his playing corner. Tuck your kid in a bed of utmost comfort with a memory foam pillow that provides complete relaxation with its unique gel-infused memory foam core.
If you are short on space, you can always go for a folding bed for kids that provide ample support and can later be kept away. To provide the proper back support and ease pressure points during sleep, a memory foam mattress queen size is an ideal choice for your child’s sleep supportive environment. The association of the bed with sleeping is an excellent enabler in practicing healthy sleep hygiene.
Understand the teens require more sleep
Around puberty, teens’ sleep-wake cycles often get shifted by a period of two-three hours because of poor time management. Often the school timings shift earlier as well and the sleep routine gets chaotic for children in their teens. It is crucial to understand that growing children require more sleep to let their bodies get adequate rest and develop.
Moreover, adolescence is the time for a growth spurt and while many teenagers don’t require anything bigger than a twin mattress, it may help to assess their comfort level and check if they may require something more spacious. After all, a king-size bed is wider than a queen bed and if budget and space is no constraint, it is probably a good idea to invest in one for your teen’s quality sleep.
Be watchful of sleep disorders
Some of the common sleep problems that children have are sleep apnea, snoring, and sleeplessness at night. This might be caused due to an underlying condition that needs to be treated. Many times, the symptoms of sleep disorders go unnoticed.
Children also get nightmares which could be because of anxiety due to separation or stress at school. Parents must keep a close watch on daytime drowsiness or nighttime sleeplessness and consult a pediatrician to help improve the child’s sleeping habits. You should also speak to the child’s teacher to find out about the alertness during the day.
A child who gets proper sleep at night will be able to focus better during the daytime. In case they are waking up in the middle of the night, do not punish them, instead, be mindful of the reason for them not getting a sound sleep.
Get their food habits right
In the case of infants, don’t leave them with a bottle of milk or fruit juice before bed as this will result in tooth decay and might even cause bedwetting problems for them. Additionally, make sure that you do not give them solid food before their digestive system is ready anytime sooner than six months. This causes the child to have stomach issues that can hamper the sleep. For children in their teens, heavy meals loaded with carbohydrates should be strictly avoided before bed.
Sleep is important for everyone whether it is a toddler or a teen. The mental and physical growth of children depends on how well-rested they are. There are ongoing studies to understand the impact of sleep on regulatory hormones among children because the growth hormone has been found to be released right after they enter into a deep sleep.
Getting sufficient sleep during the night should be a priority for the entire family because this has a direct impact on the health of the family.