People of all age groups need to get enough sleep, especially children as they are constantly on the run. But many children and teenagers experience sleep problems that make it difficult for them to focus on school, home or playtime. Sleep deprivation, or not getting enough sleep, can also affect a child’s emotions, behavior, weight and mood. The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a significant impact on sleep habits among children, changing it in many ways over the past two years.
So today we are going to discuss how to develop healthy sleeping habits in children.
Why are healthy sleep patterns important for babies?
During your child’s sleep, a complex cycle of activity is going on. The body alternates between two phases while falling asleep: rapid eye movement (REM), which is when dreams occur frequently, and no rapid eye movement (NREM), which is a quiet period of sleep. When they reach school age, your child changes every 90 minutes.
Since this is the time the body gets to do some “housekeeping”, getting enough sleep is important, as is cycling through these phases correctly. Your baby’s body replenishes energy stores, repairs tissue and produces hormones important for development while they sleep. Improved attention, behavior, mood, learning, memories, quality of life, and mental and physical health are all benefits of getting enough sleep on a regular basis.
Many sleep problems can be avoided by practicing good sleep or starting sleep hygiene early.
Create a schedule that allows your child to let go of the worries of the day and rest peacefully until the next morning to encourage good sleep.
Tips for creating a healthy sleep pattern,
1. Make getting enough sleep a priority. Set limits, such as turning off the lights while you sleep.
2. Do it all at bedtime
take a shower
Listen to music or read a book to help you relax.
Create a relaxing environment.
Check if the temperature is OK and turn off the light. Night light is fine to use.
Before you turn off the lights, spend some quality time with your child.
Set an alarm when you want to wake them up in the morning.
3. Keep the clock away so that the child does not have to see the time again and again.
4. Keep your child busy during the day, but stay away from vigorous activity just before bedtime. Avoid planning too many events, especially late at night.
5. Encourage your child to be in maximum sunlight during the day, especially in the morning. Melatonin is suppressed by bright light. This will result in your baby feeling awake and alert throughout the day.
6. Don’t let your child take a nap during the day. Taking naps during the day can make it difficult to sleep at night. If they insist on taking a nap, it shouldn’t be more than 30 minutes.
7. Turn off all electronic screens, including computers, cell phones, and video games, at least one hour before bed. Screen lights can cause sleep problems for your baby.
8. Caffeinated drinks such as soda, energy drinks, coffee and tea should be avoided by your child, especially in the afternoon and evening.
9. Your child should not eat heavy food just before bed, but should not starve in bed. A small snack can be consumed before bedtime.
10. Maintain a consistent sleep routine. Even on weekends, you should encourage your child to try to go to bed and wake up at a fixed time like every day. Although he prefers to sleep more on weekends, he should not wake up two hours later than usual on weekdays.
11. Sleep on the bed itself. Don’t let them eat or watch TV in bed. If necessary, remove the TV from the bedroom completely.
12. Learn to rest when you feel tired.
Even after being in bed for 20 minutes, if your child still can’t fall asleep, ask him to get out of bed and do something else until he starts to fall asleep.
Your child’s everyday habits, including what they eat and drink, their schedule during the day and how they spend their evenings, can have a big impact on how well they sleep.