Get your kids to sleep and get more time to yourself with these 6 tips.
Children are one of the best gifts life can give you. But raising them isn’t without its challenges. Especially when it comes to bedtime. Almost every parent will tell you trying to get your kids to sleep can be, well, exhausting.
Why it’s important to get the kids to sleep
If children don’t get the appropriate amount of sleep, they may start to experience many different problems. Poor sleep can lead to behavioral issues with kids. They may also have trouble learning and paying attention in school. Lack of sleep can also play a role in childhood obesity.
Does your little one having trouble getting to sleep? You’re not alone. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 25% to 50% of preschoolers experience sleep related problems.
6 tips to help get your kids to sleep
Set a sleep schedule
It’s important to work with your kid to set a sleep schedule, personalized to them. Is your kid an early riser or a night owl? School-aged kids typically need 9-11 hours of sleep. Set a bedtime and wake time that makes the most sense for your child’s own needs. Try and keep bedtime and wake time the same, within an hour or so, for consistency. If you allow them to break from their schedule and get too much sleep, they may not feel tired by bedtime. You can tell they’re getting enough sleep when they fall asleep within 15 to 30 minutes of going to bed. Furthermore, waking up easily in the morning, and not nodding off during the day are good signs as well.
Develop a routine
Kids thrive on routines. One study showed that bedtime routines helped significantly reduce problematic sleep behaviors for infants and toddlers. Create a routine that is comforting and relaxing so your kid becomes sleepy at the start of it. After dinner, try a routine that includes some gentle playtime, bath, brushing teeth, a bedtime story then bed. Try and keep the routine short and be firm about ending it when it’s time to sleep. Lastly, kids will always try and prolong their bedtime. A drink of water. One more book. Just five more minutes. When your kids turn on the cuteness, it may be tough to say no. But it’s important to stay firm and let them know once they’re in bed, they have to stay there.
Create the right environment
When you set up your kid’s room, keep in mind details that will help them sleep better. Get shades for their room to keep it dark. If your kid doesn’t love a pitch black room, invest in a small night light. Look into getting a comfortable mattress and soft sheets that will help your kid get better sleep. In addition, set their room’s temperature on the cool side to around 65-70 °F at night. Lastly, try and keep the noise level to a minimum when your kid is trying to go to bed.
Give them a comforting object
When your kids go to sleep it means that they’re separated from you. Parents may find this time relieving, but kids can grow anxious and scared being away from their parents. Even if you’re just in the other room. As a result, you may want to give them a comforting object like a teddy bear, doll or blanket. This will provide them with a sense of security and comfort that can be reassuring as they try and fall asleep.
Calm their fears
Monsters under the bed, boogeymen, ghosts — there’s a lot of scary stuff out there haunting kids’ imaginations. Rather than dismissing them as silly childhood fantasies, help alleviate their fears by addressing them with your kids. However, make sure you address these fears during the day, avoid having these conversations around bedtime. If a reassuring talk doesn’t help get your kid to sleep, get creative. Use a special toy to “guard the room” or even a spray bottle that will spray the monsters away.
Keep an eye out for troubling signs
There could possibly be other reasons your little one can’t get to sleep. If your kid has trouble falling asleep, snores, or breathes through their mouth, they could possibly have a sleep disorder. In addition, persistent nightmares, daytime behavioral problems, and being overtired may be worth looking into. Speak to your pediatrician about your child’s sleep habits. They might recommend a sleep consultant or offer other suggestions to help your kiddo get some zzz’s.
Help the whole family get to sleep
If your kid isn’t the only one having trouble getting to sleep, it might be time for a new mattress. Give us call or come visit one of our locations and speak to our Sleep Consultants. Together, we can help you and your family get the best sleep of your lives.