Younger children and babies might have frequent night awakenings. But apart from this, poor sleep habits, an overly active mind, anxiety, hormonal fluctuations, trauma, and depression are also responsible for insomnia in children.
Tips and Tricks to Get Your Kids to Sleep
According to Dr Sumit Bhargava, director of Stanford Children’s Health Sleep Centre, “Sleep is crucial for everyone but especially for kids, who are developing both mentally and physically.” Sleep-deprived children are most likely to get irritated or hyper and often suffer behaviouristic problems. So, it is crucial and challenging for parents to make their children sleepy. When kids don’t get enough sleep, they often face trouble controlling their emotions and gaining weight.
If you are also troubled with how to get a child to sleep, here are some tricks and tips shared to help you.
How to Get Good Sleep for Children: 9 Tips and Tricks
1. Set a Bedtime Routine for Your ChildSet up a regular bedtime routine to encourage good sleeping patterns for your child. This will help your child get plenty of sound sleep so they can feel re-energised every morning when awake. Also, by the time they will follow this as their regular routine, they will more likely get to internalise this.
2. Allow Your Child to Relax Before BedtimeIf you find that your child is taking more than 30 minutes to fall asleep, then you should encourage them to relax before going to bed. They can relax by practising breathing, listening to soft music, reading a book, etc. It is another tried and tested way followed for years on how to get good sleep for children.
3. Ensure Your Child’s Naps Are ShortMost children stop napping after they turn 3-5 years of age. But if your child is above five years old and they are still napping during the daytime, then ensure to keep this for about 20 minutes and not later than early afternoon. This is because longer naps can make it difficult for your child to get sleep at night.
4. Make a Sleep-Inducing EnvironmentIf you want your child to fall asleep more quickly and easily, create a sleep-inducing environment for them in their room. If the room has darker shades, is relatively quiet, and has softer bed sheets, it will reduce their distractions and they are more likely to fall asleep easily.
5. Turn Off All Screens for Them BeforehandAccording to research, it has been found that a blue light radiates from the mobile screen, computer monitor, or television screen. It impedes the production of the melatonin hormone. This hormone is significant for maintaining sleep-wake cycles, as when its level increases, people feel sleepy. So, you should make the bedroom a completely screen-free zone at least an hour before your child goes to sleep. It is another useful way to get your child to sleep.
6. Avoid Intake of CaffeineYou must encourage your child to avoid taking caffeine found in chocolate, tea, coffee, and energy drinks, during the late afternoon or evening. It will help your child to sleep more comfortably and efficiently.
7. Reduce Distractions in Your Child’s BedroomMake your child’s bedroom distraction-free. Ensure that it’s neither too noisy nor too bright. Turn off all devices and dim all lights at least one hour before bedtime. If your child uses any night lamp, choose a warm and dim light, rather than a bright or dim colour.
8. Make Them Eat the Right Amount at the Right TimeEnsure that your child intakes the right amount of meals at the right time. If they intake satisfying meals from time to time, it will avoid making them feel too hungry or too full, and thus they will feel comfortable throughout. This will help your child to get a sound sleep.
9. Help Your Child Feel Safe at Night
If your child feels scared while going to bed or being in the dark, then as a parent, you need to alleviate their fears. Avoid making them see scary games, movies, or TV shows, as this might entertain their fears. Also, you can have a night light to reduce your children’s bedtime fears.
As a parent, if you follow these couple of things, chances are higher that you will be able to sort out your child’s sleeping issues. What will be more beneficial concerning this is if you know the causes that are troubling your child’s sleep, then solving it would be much easier.
What Affects Your Child's Sleep?
Electronic DevicesStatistics show that if your child is getting more connected with any electronic device, be it a TV screen, computer screen, or mobile device, they are becoming sleep-deprived.
Transition in Their Bed TimingsIf your child is continuously transiting from one place to another or from one task to another just before their sleep, then chances are there they will take a short time to fall asleep.
Inconsistent TimingsA regular bedtime is essentially important for your child to complete their proper sleep cycle. Making your child stay up long at night will interfere with their sleeping patterns often. Thus, they will feel tired and sleepy the next day.
Caffeine IntakeAnother culprit for causing sleep problems in your child is a caffeine diet. So, prevent your child from in-taking caffeine in exceeding limits, especially during the evening or late afternoon.
Bedroom Set-upA bedroom set-up is exceedingly significant for providing your child with a sound sleep. If your child’s bedroom is not dark enough, cool, cluttered, and has distractions like devices and all. In that case, this might disrupt your child from getting good sleep.
Other Sleeping Disorders
There are other sleeping disorders as well that your child might be experiencing, like insomnia, apnoea, night terrors, nightmares, etc. These also play a crucial role in providing your child with sleepless nights.
Thus, these tips on how to get a child to sleep will be beneficial for parents struggling to make their child fall asleep.
However, even after trying out all these tips, tricks, and strategies, if you still find that your child’s sleeping problem is not going away, then it will be better to talk to a paediatrician. Avoiding this issue for a long time or not curing it as early as possible might lead your child to a long-term behavioural or psychological issue.
FAQs About How to Get Child to Sleep
Specific exercises can be more beneficial for your child to sleep than others. These include breathing exercises, yoga practices, light stretching, and so on.
According to research, if your child’s body has sufficient Vitamin B3, B5, B6, B9, and B12, this might help them achieve sound sleep. Some food sources that help increase Vitamin B include meat, eggs, seeds, whole grains, and nuts.
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