Tips for helping your child get a good night's sleep
Many mums and dads lack a good night’s sleep. Not because they aren’t exhausted but because their children are having a difficult time sleeping. It’s at these times that parents begin looking for solutions. Children sleep better when they have an established routine and consistent schedule. Following these tips will help not only children, but parents, sleep better at night.
When rooms have an excessive amount of light, be it from a street lamp, headlights, late evening or early morning sun, it can be difficult for children to sleep. Hanging blackout curtains will stop light from coming through the window and help children sleep more soundly.
When children have a full day of homework, sports, playing or tagging along with mum and dad on the high street, they have a more difficult time falling asleep. The calmer a child’s day, the more likely they are to sleep well at night. Children who are incredibly busy during the day should be given the opportunity for quiet time, an opportunity to calm down, before bed.
Even though children may fight for a ‘later’ bed time, a consistent schedule will help them sleep better at night. Establishing a set bed time for children is one of the first steps in helping them get a good night’s sleep. While every child is different, an average child needs between eight and ten hours of sleep per night to be able to function properly during the day. If a child has to wake up at 7:00am, for instance, they should have a bed time of no later than 10:00pm. The time can, of course, be adjusted to the individual child.
Bed Time Routines
Like adults, children fall asleep better when they have an established bed time routine. Whether it is a hot bath, a cup of tea or a bed time book, a routine will give the child mental cues that it will soon be time for bed. Parents should choose a bed time activity that can be realistically accomplished every night.
It has been found that some people sleep better when there is noise in the room rather than in a completely silent environment. White noise, such as a fan or air conditioner, or soft, nature music may help some children fall asleep more quickly than lying in bed listening to the sounds of the house. Sleep radios that play these sounds can be purchased as can applications for smart phones and Apple devices.
Sleeping soundly through the night is not an easy task for some children. Blackout curtains, consistency and routine can help when parents find that their children are restless at bed time. While it may take a bit of trial and error to find what helps a child sleep, finding the right combination is not only helpful to the child but to parents as well.