Getting a good night’s sleep turns out to be a nightmare for adults, as most adults are not able to get a relaxing sleep. But no one wants the same to happen with their children. Sleep is crucial for all, especially children and toddlers who are growing both mentally and physically, every day and every night.
Scientifically speaking, there are growth hormones that get released during the night and help in the physical development of the child. A good night’s sleep is also essential to start the next day with positivity and most importantly, with a smile on the face. To ensure that smile on the face of your child, it is important to help your child get a good night’s sleep. This is exactly what this blog focuses on. So, keep scrolling down the page.
10 Best ways to help your child get a good night’s sleep
1. Scheduling a Regime
It becomes easier for the child to follow a set pattern of sleeping, more or less around the same time, each night. This makes the child habitual of sleeping at that particular time and there’s not much wastage of time changing positions after lying down. This regime can include a short storytime for the younger children, or a little talk discussing the day with an older child, followed by turning the lights off and going to sleep.
If there are frequent changes made in this routine, the child’s mind doesn’t get accustomed to the pattern and this leads to difficulties in adapting to a new time, each night.
2. Setting up a Sleep Inducing Atmosphere
It is very important to provide an environment that emits ‘sleepy vibes’ to your child. This can include making the sleeping place comfortable with pillows and blankets, ensuring right temperature for the room, preventing all noises and disturbances from the outside to enter, shutting down the drapes, ensuring minimal or no light or just some warm-coloured lights, as per the child’s preference. This sleeping environment might vary from child to child, but ensuring this atmosphere in the room every night can help the child feel the ‘sleepy vibes’. In short, make them love the night atmosphere.
3. The Right Food
A child cannot sleep with an empty or inadequately filled tummy, but neither does an overfilled stomach help. Therefore, it is very important to give your child the proper type and amount of food at the right time. The meal should be given at a considerable time of say, an hour or so, before sleeping. Caffeine should be strictly avoided in the late afternoon and evening. Toddlers can be given warm milk before going to sleep. A perfectly filled up tummy hence provides a more comfortable sleeping experience. This should be followed by a healthy breakfast in the morning for a robust day.
4. Turn off the Gadgets
It is scientifically proven that blue light emitting from mobile phones, computer screen, television screens, etc. Suppresses ‘Melatonin’ and ‘Serotonin’ levels in the body which reduces sleepiness. This blue light also can stimulate the brain which might make kids feel tired and restless. Hence, it is ideal to turn off these electronic appliances at least an hour or two before the bedtime. There should be no screens, especially phones and television screens in the child’s room. This also reduces distraction while sleeping, especially in today’s world when children are so addicted to these entertainment units.
5. Short Nap Rule
If your child is under the age of 3 or 4 years, it is normal to sleep for most of the day and still can sleep during the night. But this should be avoided in case the child has crossed 5 years of age, especially during the late afternoon and evening. Naps are only to freshen up the mind and this should not take more than 20 to 30 minutes. If it exceeds this time limit, it might cause a problem while sleeping during the night. This is because the child’s mind already feels completely fulfilled and satisfying afternoon’s nap and doesn’t feel like sleeping anymore.
6. Light Exercising Routine
It is a well-known fact that a tired body gets a more relaxing and satisfying sleep. Hence, making your child follow an exercising routine in the evening, including a light jog or practising a few stretching postures or maybe just a regular playing session with friends, might help tiring out the body a little. This little is effectively very helpful in inducing the sleep hormones more effectively and also leading to faster growth of the child. However, it is important to ensure that the exercise routine is not very cumbersome and intense, as this might as well just do the opposite of what is desired.
7. Pre-bed Time Activities
Some playful-bedtime activities with the child can help reduce stress and anxieties. It is important to reduce these tensions as overthinking while lying in the bed is something everyone does. This produces ‘Cortisol’, which is a stress hormone, in relatively higher amounts. This hormone again delays sleep. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your child forgoes all these tensions before sleeping. This is especially relevant for older children. These calming activities can include reading out positive stories to the child, playing soft music or even just having a little chat about how things are going. These activities tend to calm down the child’s mind and reduce the chances of overthinking.
8. Make your Child Brave
Children are generally fearful of nights as they bring with them a creepy feeling of ghosts and other negative vibes. These creatures might not be physically roaming in their rooms, but occupy a space in their heads. This fear can be reduced by telling them stories of brave warriors and also preventing them from watching horror shows or movies, as much as possible. Try to set up in their minds that these things are unreal. Reciting stories of superheroes who saved the world can also have a lasting impression. Little praises or rewards can also be given whenever your child acts bravely. This will also motivate them and remove these supernatural fears in the long run.
9. Avoid the Ticking of Clocks
Children become even more anxious when they realise that they have been the beds for a long time but not been able to sleep at all. This might prompt them to check the time again and again. Looking at the time pass so quickly might make them more nervous and delay sleep even more. The continuous ticking of a clock can not only act as a distraction but also give them anxiety of waking up. This is especially relevant for older children who might get a panic attack as they calculate the sleeping hours remaining. Hence, placing clocks within the sight from the bed should be avoided.
10. Set up an Exciting Morning Routine
No one likes leaving the blanket and waking up. So, to avoid this, it is important to have an exciting morning routine, at the same time each morning. Changing the waking up timings can cause problems in the long run, even though letting your child sleep longer on the weekends might seem a little generous. This can be done occasionally but doing it very often can disrupt the whole sleeping routine. Also, if the morning routine is thrilling, the child feels like sleeping well to wake up fresh at the scheduled time and enjoy the morning routine. Each morning should be started by remembering the almighty, embracing the warm rays of the sun, followed by a healthy breakfast time together with the family. In other words, the morning routine should be such that the child cherishes it the whole day and waits for the next morning.
It is a well-proven fact that children who get proper sleep during the night wake up with positivity and show better performance both physically and mentally. Therefore, it is very important to ensure a peaceful sleep for your child. We hope these tips will help you in ensuring that your child gets a proper night’s sleep.