One of the most important problems many parents face is the sleep schedule of their kids. Either the kids don’t go to sleep on time, or they simply have a very abnormal sleep cycle. Both of these issues can have various physical and mental impacts on the child which is harmful especially because the child is in the growth phase. However, with some techniques, you can get your child to sleep easily.
How Much Sleep is Essential for Kids?
Before we move on to sleep hacks for children, let’s first evaluate how much sleep is important for children. Experts recommend that kids that are aged between 5 and 12 should get at least 10 hours of sleep every day. Those who don’t get this much sleep tend to underperform in various tasks. However, in certain studies, it has been evaluated that sleep is quite subjective and every person may have their own particular needs.
Therefore, some children may require less sleep, while others would require more. Nonetheless, about 8 to 10 hours of sleep is still important and you should make sure that your children don’t undersleep.
Problems Associated with Lack of Sleep for Children
Studies by the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest that about 10% of the children in the United States are having sleep issues which may lead to various problems.
Deteriorated Academic Performance
In recent times, it has been seen that the children sleep very late at night and are up early for school. On the other hand, parents are very concerned that their child should be performing well at school. If your child sleeps late, he would not be fresh in the mornings like other children. Moreover, there are chances that he or she will be exhausted soon due to a limited rest. We have seen that some children fall asleep in school too.
Eventually, a kid that is over exhausted would not be able to study, learn, or understand any of the concepts. According to experts, the mental capacity of children is significantly reduced when their brain does not get enough rest. Additionally, there are high chances that your child will not be interested in extracurricular activities or will not perform well in them. On the other hand, a child who gets sufficient sleep is fully active and fresh till their last-minute at school.
Psychologists have suggested that children who don’t have proper sleep end up facing anxiety, mood swings, and could develop long-term depression as well. If your child seems too annoyed, there are chances that he is not having a proper sleep. Sleep-deprived children may develop behavioral issues as well which no parent wants.
Suggested Reading – How to Overcome Anxiety?
As per Dr. Jessica Brown, a pediatrician, little sleep increases the risk for health problems. The child may be having an irregular heartbeat, obesity, high blood pressure, and may develop further heart issues over time. In general, the child will not be physically fit which can increase medical concerns.
Many children who don’t take a sufficient 8-10 hours of sleep every day may also develop eyesight problems. Some even have eye bags and red eyes, both of which could be quite irritating and unappealing as well. Needless to say, this evidence is enough to realize why sufficient sleep is important for your young one.
How to Get Your Child to Sleep?
If you are noticing any of the above-mentioned problems in your child, try using the following ways to get your child to sleep.
Psychiatrists believe that Bedtime stories have a strong connection with sleep for your children. It truly makes bedtime “magical” and more interesting than it was. When parents don’t read any bedtime stories to their children, they often end up getting bored and would not sleep. Others may sneak out to play just to kill time. However, if parents do read a bedtime story to their children, the kids will have dedicated attention to the story.
This sleep hack is perfect for children that are aged between 6 and 11. Try to not read any kind of horror stories as they might reduce their sleep time and potentially increase their anxiety levels. Even comedy is not recommended as it may lead to excessive laughter and a boost of adrenaline making the sleep go away. A moral story would work perfectly while you rub your hand on the child’s forehead.
Many new parents find it interesting that you can use sleep-music therapy to help your child go to sleep. Parents did not have this convenience in the earlier times but now, with the help of modern technology, psychologists have concluded that certain kinds of music could be helpful in getting your child to sleep. Studies have shown that certain types of music help us in calming down and getting relaxed which could ultimately lead to sleep.
All you need to do is to ensure that your child is in bed and meanwhile play the sleep music on a medium volume. You can find different types of songs used for sleeping on the internet including Youtube and Spotify. Keep in mind that every child may be more adaptable to a different type of song.
Optimizing the Environment
Just like most things, getting children to sleep requires focus and attention to the child’s requirements. You have to optimize the sleeping environment in the most effective way possible for the child to go to sleep. Some children prefer a dim bulb around them while others would want the stuffed toys. Take a look at the bed and inquire from the kid if he or she is facing any problem.
Resolving these issues will ensure that your child gets uninterrupted sleep. By reconditioning the environment, it will become easier for the kids to fall asleep. Fun Idea – Sticky stars that glow at night are a great way to make your children go to bed because the children are quite attracted to them.
Ensure a Healthy Routine
The amount of sleep we have is based on the type of routine which we undergo. Children who do a lot of physical exercises would rest more than the children that are not engaged in as much physical exercise. A healthy routine for children includes a night sleep, organic breakfast, afternoon sleep, physical exercise, free time, and then back to night-sleep.
However, many parents don’t follow this routine and their children are ultimately not able to maintain a proper sleep schedule. Kids who have a really high screen time and reduced physical exercise tend to sleep at odd hours which means they don’t have an uninterrupted rest time.
One thing that does not let anyone go to sleep is caffeine. Parents have a misconception that it is “only” coffee that would keep the child awake which is why they try to restrict coffee from their diets. However, keep in mind that fizzy drinks such as Coca-Cola and 7Up also contain high amounts of caffeine. If the child is consuming some amount of it at dinner, he would ultimately get active and won’t go to sleep.
Therefore, ensure that the diet of your child does not include caffeine in any manner. Try to avoid fizzy drinks at dinner and instead, you can have them at lunchtime. Other items which may restrict the ability to sleep include dark chocolate, black-bean chili, cheese pizza, grapefruit, and Bananas.
Here are some sleep hacks for adults – Sleeping Hacks To Get Better Rest
What is the Best Routine for Kids?
According to experts, here is one routine that you can follow. Starting from night 9 pm to 10 pm, try to get your child to bed and let him sleep. Occasionally, this can go at around 11 pm too but not on a daily basis. After a 7 to 8 hour of sleep, they would be fresh and energetic. Ensure that they drink a glass of milk in their breakfast along with any sandwich. After the child returns from school, they should get some rest again.
Most parents don’t realize that an afternoon nap is very important for the child. Constantly engaging in physical and mental workouts in school exhausts the children. Let the child rest after lunch. In the evening, the child can do his homework and then get free time. Make sure to wind up dinner by 9 at max so that the child goes back to sleep around 10-10.30pm.
Many parents are worried about their child not getting the right amount of sleep and developing various issues. However, if they follow the tips we mentioned above, the sleep cycle can be managed properly. The children would not be resisting going to bed if you try out these sleep hacks.