A good night’s sleep is an essential element of your child’s well-being. Without enough rest, at night, your child may suffer in school, be prone to tantrums, and be more susceptible to illness. This isn’t limited to just children, either. Sleep is important for people of all ages in order to be healthy.
Not only is it essential that your child falls asleep well, but it’s also vital that they stay asleep. When they wake up regularly throughout the night, their sleep cycles are interrupted, resulting in feeling less rested.
That’s why it’s critical that you do whatever you can to facilitate a healthy sleep schedule in your child’s life. Here are some of the best ways how.
Create a Ritual
A nighttime ritual encourages your child to fall asleep at the correct time. A nighttime ritual can be anything from singing a song together, to taking a bath and reading a story.
The idea is to create a routine that serves as a signal to their brain that it’s time to fall asleep. Makes sure that you follow through with your routine every day in order to reap the benefits.
Avoid Stimulation Before Bedtime
One of the biggest mistakes that parents make before bedtime is allowing their children to get too much stimulation. They shouldn’t be jumping around excitedly or sitting in front of a screen.
Encourage a calm and soothing environment at least an hour before bedtime. Abruptly switching gears from excited and stimulated to nighttime mode isn’t just confusing to them, but it’s frustrating.
You’re much more likely to encounter tantrums and resistance. A tight schedule is the best way to ensure that you’re keeping up with your nighttime mode. The kids should be calmly reading or playing quietly, starting at a certain hour each day, without being overly stimulated.
Make sure that your child’s room is dimly lit or completely dark. Light can inhibit their sleepiness and cause them to take much longer to fall asleep.
Even though they may protest, help them find ways to feel more comfortable in the dark. Show them that they are safe, and there isn’t anything under the bed or in the closet. It’s helpful to avoid scary movies or books which could encourage their fear of nighttime.
Avoid Anything With Caffeine
Most parents aren’t likely to hand their child a cup of coffee. However, you’d be surprised how many places caffeine is lurking besides just coffee.
You can find caffeine in chocolate, sodas, and cocoa. Make sure that they aren’t consuming anything with caffeine in it before their bedtime. Otherwise, you’ll have a hard time convincing them to get in bed!
Photo by Annie Spratt