Children need to have at least eight hours of sleep each night in order to grow and develop properly. Without enough sleep, they tend to do poorly in school, and at the very least, they can be grouchy and difficult to manage. This doesn’t have to be a permanent thing, as long as you are taking the right steps to get your child into better sleeping habits. There are many things you can do that will help to improve your child’s sleep, including:
Set a Bedtime Routine
It is important that children get into certain routines, and this includes having a bedtime routine. This can involve taking a bath, brushing their teeth
, having a story read to them, etc. If there is not already a routine in place, it may take a few weeks to establish one, but it won’t be long before your child looks forward to bedtime.
Set a Regular Bedtime
When children are allowed to go to bed at any time they please, it can really interrupt their sleep schedule. Everyone has an internal clock, including children, so it is important that they have regular bedtimes, even on the weekends and school holidays. If they are allowed to stay up late and sleep in on weekends and holidays, it will make it more difficult for them to sleep and wake up for school during the week.
No Video Games before Bedtime
Video games are very stimulating, and should not be played before bedtime. Studies show
that children who play video games for an hour before going to bed have more sleep disruption. Games should be played a few hours before bedtime, such as for an hour or two after school, and earlier in the day on weekends.
Avoid Heavy Meals before Bedtime
A bedtime snack is fine, but make sure that your child does not have a heavy meal too close to bedtime. Avoid giving your child any foods that contain caffeine and sugar, including soda, chocolate, ice cream, iced tea, etc. Bedtime snacks that can help improve sleep include oats with milk, bananas, eggs, toast with peanut butter, yogurt, and poultry.
Change the Windows
Often, outside noise plays a huge role in a child’s inability to sleep. One way to solve this problem is by switching out the windows for double glazed windows
. This is going to go a long way in soundproofing your child’s room, because the double glazing will add another layer of sound protection.
Limit Activities before Bedtime
Make sure that your child does not engage in any energetic activities in the last hour or two before bedtime. This includes watching movies and even reading books that are stimulating. Instead, find ways for your child to relax before going to bed. This is going to make it a lot easier for them to sleep. If they are stimulated, their brains are also stimulated, and sleep will be a long time coming.
Teach Your Child to Self-Soothe
Cuddling with your child at bedtime is soothing, and you probably enjoy it as well. But, you also need to teach your child how to self-soothe. Otherwise, they will have a difficult time learning how to get to sleep on their own, and without you in the room or in the bed with them. Put them to bed when they are sleep but not asleep, and leave the room before they fall asleep. Your child will learn how to self-soothe, and it will become part of their bedtime routine.