The Best Strategies for Kids Who Have Trouble Sleeping

Sleep is essential for a child’s development, as during sleep, the body recharges and heals after any damage that has occurred throughout the day. Anything new your child learns during the day is retained when sleeping. It also has an important regulatory role in behavior, memory, attention, and the overall mental and physical health. Children with disrupted sleep patterns have a higher incidence of metabolic syndrome, brain development issues, decreased growth rates, learning difficulties and a higher incidence of disease.

The Best Strategies for Kids Who Have Trouble Sleeping

The amount of sleep kids should get depends on their age. For infants under one, between twelve and sixteen hours are required for optimal growth. Children between one and five need between ten and fourteen hours of continuous sleep, while for those between six and twelve, the time decreases a little to nine to twelve hours. In the case of teenagers aged between thirteen and eighteen, the amount of sleep they should get is similar to that of adults, so between eight and ten hours each night.

However, some children might struggle to fall asleep, so they will be awake until the very late hours of the night. Here are some things you can do in order to help mediate this issue.

Recognize the problem
While in some cases, children may simply not want to go to bed because they want to keep playing longer. If you notice significant changes in your child’s sleeping patterns, you should look for other signs of insomnia. The symptoms differ depending on the time of day when they occur, so you must learn what to look for.

During the morning and throughout the day, you can notice that your child struggles to wake up and get out of bed. They might also have trouble staying awake and can feel the need to nap for long times. They might also have a tendency to fall asleep at school. Lack of energy and difficulty focusing on daily tasks are also common symptoms of sleep deprivation, which is a result of insomnia.

At night-time, your child will probably take a long time to get ready for bed and act and feel wide awake and energetic right when it’s time to go to sleep, despite seeming tired not long before. They might also wake up frequently throughout the night, get out of bed, and ask for things. They might struggle to return to bed and only fall asleep when it’s already daylight.

There are many different causes of insomnia in kids. Just like for adults, caffeine intake can disrupt sleep, so tea, cola and chocolate shouldn’t be consumed later in the evening. Emotional issues such as stress, anxiety or depression are also common culprits. Too much screen time before bed, and not taking enough time for relaxing activities can also impact sleeping hours.

Certain medicines also have a detrimental effect, and some antidepressants and medications used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are known to increase the likelihood of sleep disturbances. Teenagers are more prone to insomnia than younger children, as during adolescence, melatonin is released later at night compared to during earlier childhood. This can affect the circadian rhythm, causing increased daytime sleepiness.

Set a routine
One of the best ways to combat insomnia is to set a routine for your child and stick to it as much as possible every day. The most important thing is to encourage your child to start getting ready for bed and sleep at the same hours each night. A proper bedtime routine makes getting ready for bed a habit, which in turn tricks the brain into feeling ready to fall into slumber.

Your child’s bedtime routine should include the entire time it takes to wash up, brush their teeth and change into their Canadian pajamas. Made from quality materials that are lightweight and breathable, these jammers are the best thing to help your child feel relaxed and get a good night’s sleep. Comfort is an integral part of sleep hygiene, after all. You can tell your children a story before bed. Let them choose the one they’d like to hear. Otherwise, they might get restless and start protesting, which is the opposite of getting ready for bed.

You can even ask your child to read the story to you, as the mental exercise of focusing, even for a quarter of an hour, can be enough to help them fall asleep faster. You can also ditch the story in favor of having a quiet talk about how their day went before turning the lights off. Regular waking hours are also essential to a good sleep routine. Waking up at the same time each day helps maintain the body’s internal clock in a constant pattern. During weekends or the holidays, you should allow your children to oversleep, but not too much as it can make resuming the normal pattern much more challenging.

A comfortable environment
For your child to sleep well, they must also have the benefit of sleeping in a calm and restful environment. Reading a book or listening to music can help them unwind before bedtime. As a general rule, if your child has trouble falling and staying asleep, it’s important to keep lights and noises to a minimum. The blue light from a television, computer or home screen can be particularly harmful, as it suppresses the release of melatonin and delays sleepiness.

And, of course, it’s very important that your child feels safe at night. Nightmares and night terrors are unfortunately common in kids, so it can help some to have a night light nearby. It’s also important to avoid anything potentially scary before bedtime, including video games, movies and even books that have been linked to sleep issues.

Getting children to sleep well can be challenging sometimes. However, if you implement a few helpful habits and make sure your kid follows them, you’ll notice that the situation will improve quite rapidly. Soon enough, your child won’t need any additional guidance and will know when to start getting ready for bed on their own.

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