Tips To Ensure Your Children Get A Good Sleep!
Sleep is essential to everyone, but for children, it is even more important that they get the right amount of deep sleep as their brains are still developing. Studies have shown that children who get the right amount of sleep have improved attention, behaviour, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health. Not getting enough sleep can lead to high blood pressure, obesity and even cause depression.
So what can parents do to ensure their children are getting the right amount of sleep? Well, it starts with knowing how much sleep your child needs:
- Infants under 1 year: 12-16 hours
- Children 1-2 years old: 11-14 hours
- Children 3-5 years old: 10-13 hours
- Children 6-12 years old: 9-12 hours
- Teenagers 13-18 years old: 8-10 hours
The next step is to create a relaxing environment for them and keeping to a route every night around the same time so their tiny bodies know that is it time for sleep.
Some relaxing bedtime tips:
- A warm (not hot) bath to relax your child and prepare them for bedtime.
- Keeping lights dim encourages your child's body to produce the sleep hormone, melatonin.
- Once they're in bed, encourage your child to read quietly, listen to an audiobook or listen to some relaxing music. This is also a great opportunity to read to your little ones and watch them drift off to sleep.
- You could also suggest your child tries this relaxing breathing exercise before bed.
To help ensure your child does not develop sleeping issues, avoid screen time before bed as this stimulates their brains preventing them from relaxing and shutting down. You should set a rule of no screens an hour before bedtime to help encourage healthy sleeping habits.
There should also be no TVs in your children’s room. Your child’s room plays an important part in ensuring a good nights sleep. Their room should be used for sleeping and playing with toys, this allows the brain to associate a calm environment appropriate for sleep. Having a dark room so your child is not kept awake by lights from outside will also help ensure they do not wake up throughout the night or too early in the morning.
Few other helpful tips to help your kids get a good nights sleep:
- Avoiding scary TV shows, movies and computer games.
- Some children with bedtime fears feel better when they have a night light.
- Make sure your child has a satisfying evening meal at a reasonable time. Feeling hungry or too full before bed can make your child more alert or uncomfortable. This can make it harder for her to get to sleep.
- Encourage your child to get as much natural light as possible during the day, especially in the morning. Bright light suppresses melatonin. This helps your child feel awake and alert during the day and sleepy towards bedtime.
- Make sure your children have some physical activity throughout the week. This will not only encourage a healthy lifestyle but will help burn off all that energy stored up.
- Avoid caffeine, such as teas, coffees, chocolate or high sugar drinks like sodas. Prevent them from drinking these items from late afternoon and on, and especially not in the evenings.
By encouraging a healthy lifestyle and good sleeping habits you will be encouraging these good habits that will follow them into adulthood.
Love your Dollymix mummy,