People of all age groups need to get enough sleep, especially children, as they are constantly on the run. But many children and teens struggle with sleep, which can make it hard for them to concentrate at school, at home, or at play. Sleep deprivation, or lack of sleep, can also impact a child’s emotions, behavior, weight, and mood. The Covid-19 pandemic has also had a good deal of impact on children’s sleep patterns and changed it in many ways over the past couple of years.
That’s why today we’re going to discuss developing healthy sleep habits in children.
Why are healthy sleep habits important for children?
As your child sleeps, a complex cycle of activity is in motion. The body alternates between two phases while it sleeps: rapid eye movement (REM), which is the period when dreams often occur, and non-rapid eye movement (NREM), which is the period of most sleep. calmer. By the time he reaches preschool age, your child transitions from one state to another every 90 minutes or so.
As this is the time when the body has to do some “cleaning”, it is essential to get enough sleep, as well as to go through these stages correctly. Your child’s body replenishes its energy stores, heals tissues and produces hormones essential to its development when it sleeps. Improved attention, behavior, mood, learning, memories, quality of life, and mental and physical health are all benefits of getting enough sleep on a regular basis.
By training good sleep practices or sleep hygiene early on, many sleep problems can be avoided.
Create a schedule that allows your child to put aside the events and worries of the day and rest peacefully until the next morning to promote restful sleep.
Tips for ensuring a healthy sleep pattern:
1. Make sleep a family priority: Set firm boundaries, like when the lights should be turned off.
2. Establish a bedtime ritual
- Let them take a nice bath, listen to music or read a book to help them relax.
- Establish a relaxing atmosphere. Check if the temperature is right and turn off the lights. Use of a night light is acceptable.
- Before turning off the lights, spend some quality time with your child. Talk about topics they won’t mind.
- Set an alarm to wake them up in the morning.
3. Encourage your child to move the clock to a place where he cannot see it from his bed if he constantly checks the time.
Also read: Does your child have trouble sleeping? Here are 7 ways to make bedtime easier for him
4. Keep your child busy during the day, but avoid vigorous activity just before bedtime. Avoid scheduling too many events, especially late at night.
5. Encourage your child to get as much sun as possible during the day, especially in the morning. Melatonin is suppressed by bright light. Your child will feel awake and attentive during the day and sleepy before nightfall.
6. Daytime naps should be avoided by your child. Napping during the day can make it harder to fall asleep at night. If he insists on taking a nap, it should be no longer than 30 minutes.
7. At least an hour before bed, turn off all electronic devices with lighted screens, including computers, cell phones, and video games. Your child may have trouble sleeping because of screen light.
8. Drinks containing caffeine, such as sodas, energy drinks, coffee and tea, should be avoided by your child, especially in the afternoon and evening.
9. While your child shouldn’t have a big dinner right before bed, they shouldn’t be hungry in bed either. A small snack is a great idea before bed.
10. Maintain a consistent sleep routine. Even on weekends, you should encourage your child to try to sleep and wake up at the usual time, like every day. Even though he prefers to sleep more on weekends, he has to get up no later than two hours after normal time on weekdays.
11. Only sleep on beds. Don’t let them eat or watch TV in bed. The bed should be tied to sleep only in the memory of the child. Completely remove the television from the bedroom if necessary.
12. Teach him to rest when he feels tired rather than waiting for him to feel a “second wind”.
After lying in bed for 20 minutes, if your child still can’t sleep, ask him to get out of bed and do something else until he feels drowsy. The effects of these changes could take up to two weeks to show up. Don’t give up after the first week!
Your child’s daily habits, including what he eats and drinks, the medications he takes, his schedule for the day and how he chooses to spend his evenings, can have a big impact on the quality of his sleep. In some circumstances, even a few minor tweaks can mean the difference between a good night’s sleep and a restless night.