Getting good sleep is important to healthy growth and development in children. It is also essential to their rest and invigoration. Sleep issues impact a child’s mood, capacity to cope, school performance. Getting enough sleep can improve mental and emotional strength.
Quantity Vs. Quality
Sleep experts suggest that preschoolers require up to 13 hours of sleep every night, and children 5 to 12 years old require about 10 to 11. Ensuring that your child gets sufficient sleep can be quite challenging, but it gains many rewards. Children who are well-rested play better, interact better and sleep better the following nights after.
On the other hand, sleep is measured both by quality and quantity. Experts see our evening slumber through phases of brainwave physiology and activity that disrupt the process of getting a good night’s sleep. These phases continue in predictable patterns called sleep cycles. Sleep quality is a means of assessing the health of one’s sleep cycle.
Below are some ways to resolve your children’s sleep problems.
- Prepare A Peaceful Space. A relaxing bedroom atmosphere can be tremendously effective in putting your child to sleep. To do this, decrease visual provocations. If you are planning to decorate or paint, try to use pastel colors. Place low bedside tables with lamps on each of them. Decreasing clutter can also help. For children who share a bedroom, try putting up a white-noise machine.
If sleep is particularly hard to accomplish, more stringent measures may be required. Relating sleep with the bed could make a significant difference and could shift your child’s sleep environment. This involves matching the bed with something that is associated with sleep. This means that you can teach your children that beds are only meant for sleeping, so no other activity should be done on them.
- Use Dim Lights. Sunlight, including lights released by television, smartphones, computers, and fluorescent bulbs, holds blue wavelengths that elicit a waking reaction in our brains. Avoiding these can definitely help. So rather than letting them watch movies and television at night, let them read books or read their stories – this tradition should not be forgotten. If you’re not in the mood, try listening to slow music with your kids.
Stick To A Routine. A regular nighttime schedule would be great for your children. This means continuously doing repetitive activities before bedtime at the same time nightly. Activities can range from pajama-wearing and brushing their teeth, followed by massaging and listening to a bedtime story.
Be mindful that a nighttime routine is much easier to begin than to maintain, so it would greatly help if all members of the family are on board. To be successful in this endeavor, establish a sleep schedule that can be easily managed. Also, timing is key in routines, and flexibility is wonderful, but scheduling bedtime at 9 P.M. or earlier than that is strictly suggested for kids 12 years old and younger.
- Teach Your Kids How To Relax. Your children can feel anxious and worried, too, and when they get stressed, they have trouble sleeping as well. This is because when stress levels go up, cortisol levels, which cause insomnia, also increase. But if they can learn to relax, these levels gradually decrease.
Teaching them how to soothe themselves through relaxation exercises can definitely help them decrease their tension and stress levels. Guided visualizations, isometric muscle exercises, and listening to slow music are some examples of relaxation exercises that your kids can easily master. Warm baths and gentle massage are also good activities that you can do for your kids to keep them feeling fresh, comfortable, and relaxed.
Another benefit of bedtime baths is that warm temperatures decrease an individual’s core body temperature, which helps begin an effective sleep cycle. Practice bathing them at least one hour before they go to bed so that their bodies have enough time to cool down and relax.
Research suggests that lavender oil effectively promotes calmness and peace of mind, so it works as a sleep booster. Pour a few drops in a basin or simply on the bathroom floor.
- Let Them Drink Warm Milk Or Choco Instead Of Soda. What you allow your kids to ingest in their bodies can affect how they sleep, and knowing how various foods affect sleep can have permanent advantages. Warm milk or hot chocolate are loaded with substances that enhance relaxation. Teach them to respect their own bodies. A fit body supports better sleep. For instance, they may require physical activity in the daytime to sleep soundly at night.
Additionally, naps are very important as well. If your children require naps, make them valuable by letting them have these naps at the right time. The most suitable duration for napping is at least 30 minutes between 2 and 5 P.M. Discourage them to take naps late in the afternoon.