Nowadays many parents complain about less sleeping hours for children. Lack of sleep /less sleep makes children cranky, tearful and more prone to tantrums. And thus parents know that making children sleep when they are cranky is the best option. Irregular bedtimes may also be harmful to children and researchers have found that children with irregular bedtimes are more likely to have behavioral difficulties Irregular bedtimes could disrupt natural body rhythms and cause sleep deprivation, undermining brain maturation and the ability to regulate certain behaviors. There may be behavioral problems – which include hyperactivity, problems with peers and worsened emotional difficulties. We all know early child development has profound influences on health and development of a child. Children need sound sleep for better development and that’s why following good sleeping habits will be helpful. Adopting a regular bedtime routine is the first thing to avoid all problems. If parents set a certain routine of sleeping on time then it’s most likely to be followed by children.
Here are a few tips for maintaining good sleeping habits:
#1. Consistent Bedtimes:
Try to maintain consistent bed time every day. It’s better if parents sleep at the same time just to be a role model for children. Don’t exclude weekends/holiday from the consistent bed time. Sleeping late may disturb a child’s daily routine.
#2. Set a Routine:
Set a routine for children and make sure they follow it everyday. Like Brush teeth, change clothes, Read story book and sleep . This routine will conveys to the child that it is time to go to bed. A routine can help a child’s transition easier .
#3. Early Bed Time:
It’s great to make children sleep early so kids can sleep more. It will increase the number of hours sleep a child gets and over tired child becomes over active and difficult to sleep.
#4. Comfy Place:
The bedroom where your kid sleeps should be like a place he/she can’t resist, a cozy blanket some cozy pillows. Keep a few snuggle bears or soft toys. Switch off lights after reading books and make sure there isn’t noise.
#5. No screens:
S ay big “NO” to any electronic gadgets at the night time. Kids spend lots of time electronic gadgets nowadays.This should be avoided during night time as screen time takes sleep away and the child may resist to sleep. Also excessive screen time makes eyes more tired as well.
#6. Day time activities:
A kids day time activities should involves physical exercise that can help them move around, jump, play, run etc. This helps them get tired and go to bed easily.
#7. Avoid late afternoon naps:
Late afternoon naps should be avoided for better night sleep. As children who take rest late afternoon may not get tired enough to sleep at night.
#8 .”No” to unnecessary requests:
When kids do not want to sleep they have reasons like they are hungry, thirsty etc. Full fill their requests like milk ,water or snacks for first time but then a firm “NO” should be the answer. Don’t feel guilty of saying “NO” to a few things. As its going to help them wake up fresh the next morning.
#9.Cut the Caffeine:
Tea , coffee juices, chocolates, soft drink and other caffein eatables and drinks should be avoided at least 2 hrs prior to bed time. As kids may feel more energetic after taking these drinks and they start playing .