Children need plenty of time to sleep each night to grow and develop normally. Parents should know that their kids need a set bedtime and a good night’s sleep more than anything else. Here are some additional details about how you can make bedtime the best part of their day.
- Half of all children and 40% of all adolescents suffer from a common sleep disorder.
- Twelve to fourteen hours of sleep per day is ideal for toddlers (including naps).
- Children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 11 need between 9 and 11 hours of sleep per night.
- Twelve- to eighteen-year-olds should get between 8 and 10 hours of sleep each night.
In the same way that no two children have identical sleeping patterns, no two children are the same. Some kids go to sleep in a flash, while others may need up to 20 minutes. If it’s taking your kid more than 30 minutes to nod off every night, try pushing back bedtime or establishing a regular bedtime routine.
A child’s health and growth are greatly impacted by the amount of sleep they get.
A child’s mental and physical health greatly benefits from regular, high-quality sleep. Kid’s cognitive abilities, including their memory and focus in the classroom, benefit from adequate sleep. Kids who get enough sleep naturally have more energy to play and learn during the day.
A child who hasn’t had enough sleep may act out negatively, such as being clingy or demanding. There’s a chance she won’t be able to focus or take direction well. Your kid might be sleepy at odd times, request naps, or be difficult to get up in the morning. A lack of sleep is another possible cause of your child’s hyperactivity.
The Regression of Sleep
If your child’s usual bedtime routine suddenly changes, you shouldn’t worry too much. When a child who has been sleeping well suddenly begins to have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping deeply, this is known as sleep regression. This may happen as they enter toddlerhood or as they start to experience the onset of puberty.
Anxiety and stress associated with a major life change, such as a relocation or the beginning of a new school year, can cause a child trouble falling or staying asleep. They may become anxious because of the stress brought on by the impending change. Children, like adults, can experience difficulty switching off their brains and falling asleep.
If your child has been ill, she may also experience a regression in her sleep patterns. She might have trouble returning to her usual sleep schedule. Things should settle down in a week or so if you’re patient and encouraging to your kid during this time. Consult your pediatrician if the issue persists or worsens beyond that time frame.
Suggestions for Getting a Good Night’s Rest
How can you ensure your kids get the restful nights they require? Getting to sleep can be overcome by establishing a regular bedtime routine, which we will discuss below.
1. You shouldn’t turn bedtime into a battleground.
Develop a regular routine for winding down before bed. Even though many parents find a nightly routine helpful for their babies and toddlers, things can get trickier as their children get older. As the number of after-school activities you have to attend increases, it can become more challenging to settle into a consistent bedtime routine.
Three or four activities, such as bathing, brushing teeth, getting tucked in, and reading a favorite book, done in the same order every night, can be considered a nightly routine for younger children. There will probably be less of a routine for getting teenagers to bed. A good bedtime routine might include a warm shower, brushing one’s teeth, and reading quietly in one’s room until the designated time of night, at which point all lights and electronics should be turned off.
2. Maintain a regular bedtime routine.
Your child will benefit from having regular wake-up and sleep-in times. Try your best to keep the same weekend bedtime routine.
Consequences and requirements for the completion of nightly tasks should be made crystal clear and consistently applied.
Don’t give in to your child’s stalling tactics, such as getting out of bed to get another drink of water or finding a book to read instead of turning out the lights. Set firm guidelines for when teenagers must shut down electronic devices each night. Limiting screen time the next day or taking away the phone entirely will show them you’re serious about bedtime rules if they break the rule or you catch them sneaking one last look on the phone.
3. Get your kid to sleep in.
First, make sure he’s okay, and then try these strategies if your child frequently gets out of bed or calls for you.
- Sit outside the bedroom door after putting your child to bed so you can quickly intervene if he tries to get out of bed. Instruct your kid to go to bed and stop playing around the house. To ensure the desired behavior, it is necessary to repeat this process multiple times. Although it may take a few tries, maintaining your composure and consistency will ultimately lead to a successful bedtime tug-of-war.
- In the morning, if your child stays in bed, tell her how proud you are of her. Tell him how proud you are of her and how well she is doing.
4. Take care of your worries at night.
Kids who are afraid of the dark can sleep better if they are allowed to explore their bedroom, including the closet and under the bed. If there is a specific object she is afraid of, such as a monster, you can get creative and keep “monster spray” on hand—a spray water bottle that you mist around the room to “ward off” monsters. Keep the mood light, congratulate your child on her bravery, and assure her there is nothing to worry about.
Spending time together after she’s tucked in can also help her relax before bed. You can put your child at ease and help her forget about scary things by asking about her day, reading a book she enjoys, or telling a funny story.
5. Help everyone get to sleep more quickly and stay asleep by establishing some routines that work.
You should avoid sugary or caffeinated drinks in the late afternoon/evening.
Keep some healthy snacks on hand, so you don’t have to rely on sugary or caffeinated foods or beverages, especially as the day winds down. As they get older and more independent, this may become more challenging. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, caffeine-containing foods and drinks are not recommended for children under 12.
6. Eat supper early.
Young children who eat too late may have trouble settling down to sleep.
7. Let the kids play outside!
Melatonin is a natural sleep aid that is produced in children’s bodies as a result of daily activity and exposure to sunlight. Instead of playing video games inside the house until it’s time for dinner, take advantage of the nice weather by having your children play outside.
8. Have your kid’s room checked for noise levels.
Some children may fall asleep more quickly if they have something to listen to as they drift off. Some kids benefit from using sound machines to get to sleep and stay asleep, and it may even serve as a deterrent to monsters.
9. An hour before bedtime, put away all electronic devices.
In particular, the blue light emitted by electronic devices such as smartphones and laptops confuses the brain into thinking it is still daytime, preventing the user from dozing off easily. Blue light has an even greater effect on teenagers than adults.
The Importance of Good Sleep
Your child’s health and happiness depend greatly on them getting enough sleep each night. Establishing a regular nightly routine is the first step in ensuring your child gets enough sleep. Discuss your concerns with your child’s physician if you think she isn’t getting enough sleep. A well-rested kid is happy, and that means they’re ready to take on the world at school and home.
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