There’s no doubt that proper sleep is crucial to a child’s development. However, 15 to 25% of kids and teenagers actually have trouble falling and staying asleep. This can also be challenging for their parents who don’t know how to help their children nod off and get a good night’s sleep since pharmaceutical sleep medications, commonly used to treat insomnia in adults, aren’t recommended for children.
Luckily, there are certain lifestyle changes and adjustments that can help most children suffering from insomnia. So, continue reading to find out the ultimate tips for helping children sleep soundly.
Create a Routine
First and foremost, you have to apply a consistent bedtime routine for your kids. This will help their body and mind know when the time for bed is and help them get prepared for sleep. A healthy sleep routine should last about 20 minutes. This time should be spent on several quiet and soothing activities like putting on pajamas, brushing teeth, telling stories, or reading. By following a routine, children are provided with a sense of comfort and familiarity.
Set a Sleep Schedule
Next, you have to set a bedtime that works with the natural biological clock of your child in order to promote regular sleep. Yet, you have to keep this schedule consistent too, because otherwise, it may have the opposite effect. Hence, don’t make your children fall asleep and wake up at a certain time on weekdays, and let them stay late during weekends. Instead, follow the same schedule throughout the entire week.
Limit Screen Time
We are all aware that electronic gadgets are ubiquitous which makes limiting screen time hard for parents. Yet, implementing a screen curfew is crucial for getting proper sleep and well worth it. There are several reasons for this need. First, the fact that all screens emit blue light that acts as daylight and reduces the production of the sleep hormone called melatonin. Second, screen time increases brain activity and makes it challenging to wind down and relax for sleep. Thus, try limiting screen time at least one hour before bed and keep electronic gadgets out of the bedroom.
Encourage Physical Activity
It goes without saying that people after doing physical activities and exercising can fall asleep faster and get enough sleep. The same tactic is beneficial for children’s sleep too. Yet, this doesn’t apply to doing vigorous activities. In fact, such activities should be avoided within a couple of hours before bedtime since they can make children feel wound-up and worsen their sleep. Ideally, children should get about an hour of exercise every day for encouraging sleep.
Avoid Violent and Scary Content
Last but not least, controlling the content your children are exposed to is of utmost importance, especially with young kids. In general, one of the major reasons why children face sleep issues is feeling scared or worried. Such feelings usually come from watching, playing, or reading violent or scary content. Therefore, ensure your kids avoid such movies, TV, video games, and books in the evening, and if they are keen on such staff save it for the daytime.
The bottom line, the above-mentioned tips could all help your children improve sleep and fight insomnia. Just ensure you are consistent and your patience will be rewarded in time.