Sleep is essential to maintain good health. It is one of the most basic physiological needs that keep us alive and well. If our sleep is constantly disrupted, our bodies will let us know that something has to change, or random pains and energy loss will persist.
For children, in particular, sleep is crucial for their growth and development. Just like they need to eat healthy food and be active during the day, their nighttime sleep should be appropriately regulated to keep them functioning.
According to Healthline, kids who do not get enough hours of sleep at night are more prone to developing problems related to their behavior, academics, mood, and overall health. Not only will you be stressed out while dealing with the manifestations of these problems, but the kids themselves might be at more significant health risks in the long run. Here are some ways to help your child sleep better at night and keep them happy and healthy.
Establishing a Regular Sleep Schedule
The first important thing to establish is a regular bedtime schedule. This may be easier said than done as children typically fuss over going to bed. But it is crucial to get them to sleep and wake up at a particular time of day. Having a maintained schedule will condition their bodies to want to rest when bedtime comes and wake up automatically during the time you usually wake them up.
Conditioning their body clock also involves regulating their naps throughout the day. If you think that your child needs an afternoon nap, you also have to set a specific period so that they do not oversleep and ruin their bedtime schedule. Irregular naptimes should also be avoided.
Along with this, a set bedtime routine can also help get them to go to bed faster. You can make this routine fun and interactive by incorporating the things they enjoy with their before-bed preparations. While you help them brush their teeth or change into their sleepwear, you can sing songs or turn the chores into a game that can exhaust their remaining energy and wear them out for sleep.
Regulating the Bedroom Environment
Making their bedroom an excellent place to sleep in is also very important. Same as our own bedroom requirements as adults, it is necessary to make the space as comfortable as possible. The very first thing that should be done is cleaning their room. A messy room not only strains the eyes but can also invite pests that will keep your kid up at night. Teaching them to keep their room tidy should be on your priority list anyway.
Everything on the bed, the pillows, mattress, sheets, and blankets, must be suited to your child’s preferences. Although they might only be partial to the designs and prints on these things, you should also consider the level of comfort that they can provide. The temperature of the room can also affect how your child sleeps. Having an air conditioning system installed and regulating the temperature in your house and their room to their comfort level should help them sleep better.
Managing Light Exposure
Keeping your child off of mobile devices and computer screens before bedtime will also help regulate their sleep. Blue light emitted by our computer devices can decrease sleepiness. With this, children will find it difficult to sleep if they continue using smartphones or watching TV before bed. It is recommended to stop using these devices at least 30 minutes before they are scheduled to sleep.
Balancing Their Meals
The things that they eat during the day can also affect their sleep. Caffeine in chocolate and soda will keep them up longer, so avoid giving these to them hours before bedtime. Their meals should also be scheduled at the right time; they should be adequately portioned depending on the time of day. A good breakfast should give them the energy they need for the entire day, while a good-sized dinner should satisfy their hunger but not have them bloated for bedtime.
Enough exercise during the day will also help to regulate their sleep at night. Being active as opposed to staying still in front of gadgets can help to improve sleeping patterns. But exercise with your child can be made fun in the form of sports or games or even household chores that you can do with them.
Your child needs a good night’s rest as much as you do. With these steps, their sleep should be long and uninterrupted, which is optimum for their development. Good nutrition and proper exercise alongside their well-timed sleep will keep them healthy while growing up.