Five tips to get your child to sleep
Sometimes it can be hard getting your children to go to sleep at night. They will often want to stay up with the grown-ups, and then when you do get them in bed they won’t go to sleep. Getting them off to sleep, and to sleep through the night, can be an ongoing battle. This can make bedtime for children a nightmare for parents.
Sleep problems are very common in children, with most youngsters under ten suffering some problems sleeping a few times a week. The bedtime conflict that will often erupt when bedtime comes can be very hard for parents to deal with, and then children waking up in the night can be difficult for both parents and children, as it has bad effects on the kids’ wellbeing.
A lack of sleep in children can cause several problems in the youngsters themselves. Poor sleep can cause bad moods in children, leaving them irritable and difficult to deal with. It can also cause a lack of attention, poor problem solving skills and loss of memory capacity. A lack of sleep can make a child overactive and naughty.
All these problems will impact on you and the rest of your family too, plus it will limit your child’s ability to learn while at school, as they may struggle to concentrate. A child under ten needs up to 13 hours sleep a night, so solving this issue is vital for the well being of your family.
Here are five tips for helping to get your little one off to sleep at night:
1. You should set up your child’s bedroom so it is warm, dark (good curtains will do the trick), quiet and comfortable. So set the central heating to a comfortable temperature, make sure you have good quality curtains or blinds to keep out the light, and try to make sure their room is quiet and make sure your son or daughter is very comfortable. One way to ensure this is with a good quality bed (available with free delivery at Fads.co.uk). If your child has a comfy bed with a quality mattress then they are more likely to have a full night’s restful sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and happy.
2. Have a good bedtime routine. This is a series of things you will get your child to do every night before they go to bed. It can include bath time, brushing their teeth, reading a story and cuddle time. It can also include any other little thing your child may like to do, like kissing your pet dog goodnight.
3. Try to cut out television and computers for at least an hour before bedtime. These are bright light sources that will stimulate your child’s brain and make them feel more awake, so should be avoided. Try to avoid letting the child play rough or run around before bedtime too, as this will get their pulse going and you’ll be up with them past midnight then.
4. It is wise to avoid giving children caffeine when they are under ten years old. Be aware that some fizzy drinks contain caffeine and are likely to give your child lots of extra energy, meaning they will struggle to go to sleep at bedtime. Energy drinks have the highest caffeine content of any drink, but if you are giving Red Bull to a six year old then you deserve the sleepless nights you are bound to have!
5. Be consistent. If your little one is waking up in the night and coming into their parents room, then always take them straight back to bed. If they wake up and demand to watch a video or use a computer then tell them no. Create a bedtime routine and a reasonable time for them to get up in the morning and stick to it.