Here are 12 tips to build healthy sleep habits in kids

People of all ages need adequate sleep, especially children as they are constantly on the run. However, many children and adolescents suffer from sleep problems, which can make it difficult for them to concentrate at school, at home, or at play. Sleep deprivation or insufficient sleep can also affect a child’s emotions, behavior, weight, and mood. The Covid-19 pandemic has also had a significant impact on children’s sleeping habits and has changed them in many ways over the past two years.

So today we are going to talk about developing healthy sleep habits in children.

Why are healthy sleep habits important for children?

While your child sleeps, an intricate cycle of activities takes place. The body alternates between two phases during sleep: rapid eye movement (REM), during which dreams often occur, and non-rapid eye movement (NREM), the quieter phase of sleep. Until they reach preschool age, your child will alternate between these states about every 90 minutes.

Since this is the time when the body needs to do some “housekeeping,” getting adequate sleep is important, as is getting through these stages properly. During sleep, your child’s body replenishes energy reserves, heals tissues and produces hormones important for development. Improved attention, behavior, mood, learning, memories, quality of life, and mental and physical health are all benefits of getting adequate sleep on a regular basis.
By learning good sleep practices or sleep hygiene early on, many sleep problems can be avoided.

If your child can’t sleep, follow these tips. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Create a schedule that allows your child to put aside the day’s events and worries and rest peacefully until the next morning to promote sound sleep.

Tips for a healthy sleep pattern:

1. Make getting enough sleep a family priority: Set firm limits, like the hours when the lights must be turned off.

2. Establish a sleep ritual

  • Let them take a nice bath, listen to music or read a book so they can relax.
  • Create a relaxed atmosphere. Check that the temperature is just right and turn off the lights. Using a night light is fine.
  • Before you turn off the light, spend some time with your child. Talk about topics that won’t upset her.
  • Set an alarm for when to wake up in the morning.

3. Encourage your child to put the clock in a place where they cannot see it from their bed if they are constantly checking the time.

Also read: Does your child have trouble sleeping? Here are 7 ways to make bedtime easier for her

4. Keep your child busy during the day but stay away from strenuous activities just before bedtime. Avoid planning too many events, especially late at night.

5. Encourage your child to get as much sunlight as possible during the day, especially in the morning. Melatonin is suppressed by bright light. This will make your child feel alert and alert during the day and sleepy before nightfall.

sleeping habits in children
Vitamin D is important for all of us. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

6. Naps should be avoided by your child. Napping during the day can make it difficult to fall asleep at night. If they insist on napping, it shouldn’t be longer than 30 minutes.

7. Turn off all electronic devices with lit screens, including computers, cell phones, and video games, at least one hour before bedtime. Your child may have trouble sleeping due to the screen lighting.

8. Your child should avoid caffeinated beverages such as sodas, energy drinks, coffee and tea, especially in the afternoon and evening.

9. While your child shouldn’t eat a big dinner right before bed, they shouldn’t go to bed hungry either. A small snack is an excellent idea before bed.

10. Maintain a consistent sleep routine. At weekends, too, encourage your child to go to sleep and wake up at their usual time, just like they do every day. Even if he prefers to sleep extra at the weekend, he should get up no later than two hours after the normal time on weekdays.

sleeping habits in children
Make a bedtime routine and follow it. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

11. Only sleep on beds. Don’t let them eat or watch TV in bed. In the child’s memory, the bed should only be associated with sleeping. If necessary, remove the TV completely from the bedroom.

12. Teach him to get some rest when he’s feeling tired instead of waiting until he feels “second wind.”

If your child still can’t sleep after 20 minutes in bed, have them get up and do something else until they feel sleepy. It can take up to two weeks for the effects of these changes to manifest. Don’t give up after the first week!

Bring away

Your child’s daily habits, including what they eat and drink, the medications they take, their daily routine and how they spend their evenings can have a big impact on how well they sleep. Under certain circumstances, even small changes can mean the difference between a good night’s sleep and a restless one.

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