6 Good Sleep Habits For Your Child -
All of us know that it’s very important for children to have good sleep habits. But parents' busy work schedules, after-school activities, and homework can all cut into family time on school nights and can have a big impact on how much a child sleeps.
Although, there is no ‘golden rule’ to the exact amount of sleep needed at different ages, and there are often individual variations in sleep requirements, sleep patterns, as well as tolerance to sleep deprivation.
In general, the duration of sleep is sufficient if the child feels well-rested on waking spontaneously, and is able to function normally throughout the day.
Some of the signs of insufficient sleep include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Mood disturbances
- Behavioral problems such as inattention, hyperactivity, oppositional behavior and poor impulse control
- Impaired cognitive functioning such as poor concentration, impaired vigilance, delayed reaction time and learning problems
A good read: How many hours of sleep do kids need?
So what can we as a parent do to make sure our child sleeps enough to function at his best:
1: Set up a bedtime routine
A regular bedtime routine starting around the same time each night encourages good sleep patterns. A routine of bath, story and bed can help younger children feel ready for sleep. For older children, the routine might include a quiet chat with you about the day then some time alone relaxing before lights out.
2: Limit Electronic Usages
Don’t let your child use the computer, check her phone, or watch TV at least an hour before bedtime. These electronic screen activities can be stimulating and can interfere with falling and staying asleep.
3: Monitor older children’s naps and keep it short
Most children stop napping at 3-5 years of age. If your child over five years is still napping during the day, try to keep the nap to no longer than 20 minutes and no later than early afternoon. Longer and later naps can make it harder for children to get to sleep at night.
4: Keep kids room comfortable
Make sure your child's room isn't too hot, too stuffy, or too bright. (If your child is afraid of the dark, choose a night light that will keep her room as dim as possible.) Bedrooms that are quiet, dark and cool are optimal for a good night’s rest.
5: Eat the right amount at the right time
You must ensure that your child has a satisfying evening meal at right time. Feeling hungry or too full before bed can make your child more alert or uncomfortable. This can make it harder for him or her to get to sleep.
6: Avoid certain food or drinks such as tea or coffee
As a parent, we should be careful about what our kids are eating or drinking close to bedtime. We must avoid food or drinks having caffeine. It’s important to note here is that caffeine is not just coffee but caffeine can also lurk in foods and drinks you may not suspect, such as chocolate, bottled tea, and even some non-cola sodas.
Hence, it's important that if your child asks for foods that contain caffeine and if your child asks for dessert, stick to healthy fruit when it's close to bedtime.
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