This article discusses the role of sleep in children’s development and what to do when our child can’t get enough sleep at night.
Sleep is essential for your child’s mental and physical health. However, if you’re finding it difficult to assist your toddler in sleep, you’re not alone. It is said that 25 to 50 percent of children and 40% of adolescents have sleep problems.
The first step in giving your children better sleep is understanding their sleeping patterns. Next, you can assist your child get the rest they require to develop strong and healthy by adopting a combination of good sleep hygiene, age-appropriate habits, and close attention to any sleep issues.
Why is sleep important?
Sleep plays a crucial role in the mental development of kids. In addition to directly affecting happiness, studies show that sleep can impact alertness and attention, cognitive performance, mood, learning, and memory. Rest also has significant effects on growth, especially in early infancy. In toddlers, napping appears necessary for memory consolidation, executive attention, and motor skill development.
What happens when a child doesn’t sleep?
A kid short on sleep can go from being irritable to hyperactive, with symptoms that may be mistaken for ADHD. Sleepiness might also affect your child’s attention, which can negatively influence their school performance. Even little sleep deprivation has an impact on your child’s daily routine.
One-quarter of children under five do not get enough sleep. This is worrisome since reduced sleep in early childhood has been linked to allergic rhinitis and immune system issues, as well as worry and sadness. In addition, poor sleep in childhood is also linked to increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure in adulthood.
Teenagers who don’t get enough sleep can have diminished school performance and mental health. It’s a predictor of substance abuse and mental health disorders and more immediate issues such as vehicle accidents and sports injuries.
What to do when a child can’t sleep?
If your child struggles to fall asleep, there are a few things you can do.
A consistent bedtime routine might be beneficial for ensuring that your child gets enough sleep, no matter how old your kid is. Sleep cycles change as your youngster grows older. Still, a consistent bedtime procedure, according to research, helps guarantee that they get adequate rest. Make it a point to do the same activities in the same sequence every day so your youngster knows what to anticipate.
A typical bedtime routine should include:
- Turning off elecronic devices producing bright lights
- Washing up or taking a bath
- Dressing in pajamas
- Reading a book or listening to a lullaby
- Picking a stuffed animal or security blanket for the night for toddlers
The greatest time to put your kid to bed is when they’re drowsy, not after they’ve fallen asleep. It also helps them figure out how to fall asleep on their own. If your child awakens in the middle of the night, take him or her back to bed. It’s preferable not to allow infants to sleep in your bed because it raises the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
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Sleep tips for kids by age
Sleep tips for babies
Because they have yet to establish a circadian rhythm, newborn babies rarely sleep through the night, and this is perfectly normal. If they don’t fall asleep on their own, speak or give them a massage without picking them up to soothe them. If your baby continues to cry, he or she may be hungry or need a diaper change. If you must leave the room without alerting them, do so as quickly and quietly as possible while maintaining eye contact.
Sleep tips for toddlers
Two naps a day are added to the typical infant schedule. Toddler sleep difficulties are worsened by separation anxiety and a fear of missing out, which leads to stalling behaviors and resistance at bedtime. Avoiding these complaints is simple. Give them control over minor decisions, such as which pajamas to wear or which book to read, and you’ll cut down on these complaints. Try to be patient, firm, but kind in your power debates with them since they are more likely to react violently.
Sleep tips for school kids
School-age children, like older children, are often busy with academic, social, and extracurricular obligations, making it difficult to obtain a good night’s sleep. If feasible, keep a routine and take a wind-down period before bed. To strengthen the relationship between sleep and the bedroom, have them do their schoolwork or other activities in another area whenever feasible.
Sleep tips for teenagers
Adolescents have a later circadian rhythm, which may cause difficulties with school start times. You can assist your child by acknowledging the increased demands on their time and working together to create a suitable sleep regimen that works with their lifestyle. When it comes to sleeping, teenagers seem to follow in their parent’s footsteps to a certain extent. You can help in developing a good sleep routine for your child if you maintain one yourself.
Sleep hygiene for kids
The morning is also crucial. Though it may be tempting to allow your kids to sleep in on weekends, this might disrupt their sleep cycle and make it more difficult to wake them up on Monday. Also, try to avoid overscheduling extracurricular activities if they are causing your children’s sleep time to deteriorate.
If you’re following good sleep hygiene but your child is still sleepy or having difficulties falling asleep or keeping awake at night, it’s probably time to see a doctor to check for a sleep problem. You may also inquire with their teacher as to their attention levels. Difficulty focusing, hyperactivity, or learning difficulties might be symptoms of not getting enough sleep.
The article explains the importance of sleep for children and provides tips on how to help them get a good night’s sleep. Sleep helps children develop a healthy circadian rhythm, strengthens their relationship with sleep, and allows them to focus in school. Tips for babies include leaving them to fall asleep on their own, speaking or giving them a massage without picking them up to soothe them, and avoiding leaving the room without alerting them.
Tips for toddlers include controlling minor decisions and maintaining a routine. Tips for school-age children include keeping away and taking a wind-down period before bed. Tips for teenagers include maintaining a routine and acknowledging increased demands on their time.