Quality sleep is one of the most important things when it comes to achieving and maintaining perfect health, not only for adults but also for children. Experts recommend that children get an average of between 13-15 hours of sleep daily.
Quality sleep stands for how long it takes for the child to sleep and their ability to remain asleep. The majority of children sleep within around 20 minutes of getting to bed and might wake up briefly during the night. However, most are not aware of the time they were awake.
A good night’s sleep not only helps maintain good health for your child but also ensures they are energized every day. Just like adults, however, some things could cause your child not to get enough quality sleep throughout the night.
Some of the things you can do to help your child get a good night sleep include:
1. Have a consistent sleep routine
Establish a sleeping and waking time for your child that is within around 1-2 hours daily. Ensure that you remain consistent with that schedule. Although you might allow your child to sleep in during the weekends, don’t let them sleep over 2 hours after their wake-up time.
You should also have a consistent night routine for your child. Whether it’s a shower, playtime, or storytime, do that every night. That helps encourage a regular sleep pattern.
Include relaxing activities in the routine, and after a few days of doing that, your child will start feeling sleepy before you finish the routine.
If your child naps during the day, keep their naps shorter than 20 minutes. Also, do not let them nap late in the evening.
2. Make their sleeping environment conducive
Make your kid’s room comfortable and conducive for them to sleep. Ensure it is quiet, dark enough, and has the right temperature. Also, buy them comfortable pajamas and bedding, and a toy if they need one.
That helps reduce any distractions that could prolong the time your child needs to fall asleep. You should also turn off the television and any other screens around 2 hours before you put your child to sleep.
That is because the blue light interferes with melatonin production, a hormone that helps your child feel sleepy and more ready for bed.
3. Reduce their stress levels before they sleep
High stress levels lead to high production of cortisol, the stress hormone, which makes it hard for your child’s body to shut down and sleep. You can practice deep breathing, listen to calm music, massage your child, have them in a relaxing bath, or read them a story.
You should also not insist that your child falls asleep now! That makes them more anxious, which makes it hard for their brains to shut off.
4. Help then alleviate fears
Many children have fears like ghosts or might be afraid of the dark. Instead of brushing off those fears or condemning your child for that, help your child deal with them and do it positively.
You can start by having those conversations during the day and avoiding any scary movies, books, and video games. Also, reward your child anytime they can sleep without getting scared.
Consider having a doll in their room that will act as a “guard” for them, and have some dim lights in the room.
5. Seek professional help
Sometimes your child may not get enough sleep because of sleeping disorders. You might notice reoccurring snoring, nightmares, or your child breathing through their mouth. Those could be sleeping disorders that make it hard for your child to remain asleep.
Seek professional help and have all those issues addressed.