How to help your child get a better night’s sleep
Although adults are usually the ones talking about how sleep deprived they are—and they definitely are—children may be losing sleep as well. This is an issue because children and teenagers actually need more sleep than adults. It is recommended that children aged 6-13 need around 9-11 hours of sleep a night and teenagers need around 8-10 hours of sleep a night. So, how can you help your child get a better night’s sleep? Keep reading to find out!
Create a bedtime routine
Children function well with predictability. Doing something simple, like reading a book, every night will help children establish a schedule so they know when it is almost time for bed. Before or after the story, you and your child can start their bedtime routine. This could include putting on their pajamas (or letting them put them on if they’re old enough), brushing their teeth and maybe even setting out their outfit for the next day. Their bedtime routine does not need to be strict and will vary depending on your child’s age, the point is to just keep some sort of routine by doing the same thing every night. If you have teenagers, for example, part of their bedtime routine could be reading to their siblings. This will help both children to know when it is time for bed. Routines can be flexible, but don’t stray too far from them each night or it won’t build up predictability.
Keep regular times for sleeping and waking up
Keeping children going to sleep and waking up at the same, or similar, time every day can again help them build a routine. If they know that every night they have to sleep at 8 p.m. they will get used to that and start to become tired around that time. Our body has an internal body clock that recognizes patterns, getting children to sleep and wake up at the same time will keep their body clock in a regular pattern. So, even on weekends and holidays try to put your children to bed, give or take an hour or two as a treat, and get them up around the same time.
Create a safe, comfortable environment
Children may not know how to tell you that something in their room is uncomfortable. For example, they may hear too much noise from outside, but don’t know how to describe what they’re hearing. Spending some time in their room at night will help you figure out if there is too much noise or light coming in. If it is too noisy, a white noise machine may help block out the unwanted noise. White noise machines can be great for people of any age because the consistent, soft noise will help block out any sudden noise that could wake you up. If there is too much sun for daytime naps or the street lights are shining in, black out curtains can help keep the room dark. Lastly, children also need a good foam mattress. Their bones are constantly growing overnight and they should be as comfortable as possible while this is happening. Since children are constantly growing, they may need a bigger mattress as well. Check in on your kids while they’re in bed to make sure they have enough space. If they don’t, buying a mattress online has never been easier. Don’t forget to check their measurements to make sure their new mattress will suit them.
Children depend on their parents for everything from providing shelter, to helping with homework and making sure they are loved. They also depend on you to model healthy behavior and to ensure that they have the right environment to sleep in. Children are not going to know how long they should sleep or when they should go to bed, so try to help them out with these tips.