How To Help Children Sleep Through The Night
Sleep is one of the most important parts of a child’s development process. The sweet feeling you get when watching your one’s little eyes gradually relaxing and close is one of the best parts of parenting. Once asleep, they look so adorable, peaceful, and witnessing that moment can be incredibly rewarding as a mother or father.
However, helping a child to sleep through the night isn’t easy and is currently a major concern to many parents. Children need more sleep than adults, yet they tend to resist with all their might causing a frustrating situation for both the child and parents. If your child is a poor sleeper and you are wondering how you can quickly help your son or daughter sleep through the night, then read on.
5 common reasons why children have trouble sleeping
Having trouble sleeping is common among children of all ages. Nonetheless, it is important to know what is causing your child to have sleepless nights, or wake up feeling cranky. Over the long run, proper sleep habits can help mitigate any health problems related to insomnia in kids. That said, here are the common reasons why children have difficulty sleeping through the night.
- Bedtime Fears
Being worried or scared is one of the most common factors for child insomnia. They might be lonely, afraid of the dark, or scared of something they saw on television. This can be even worse if you have a child with a wild imagination. Let’s face it, even as adults we can be spooked by clothes folded on a chair if we’re half asleep. Similar incidents occur to kids too.
- Separation anxiety
Separation anxiety can be an issue for children during the day as well as when they are trying to fall asleep. This is why when you begrudgingly let them in your bed to sleep, they fall asleep in seconds. Many parents will often lay in the room with their child until they fall asleep to help quell this but ideally you’ll develop your own strategies to help avoid this outcome.
- Feeling Uncomfortable
Feeling uncomfortable makes it hard for anyone to sleep. Feeling cold or hot will prevent a child from sleeping and create a situation where they do not get the most restful sleep possible. Sometimes it is related to an uncomfortable mattress, incorrectly sized pillow or itchy blanket. Additionally, if they have a comfort blanket or stuffed animal you’ll want to make sure they know where it is and its close by while going through the bedtime routine. While there are many products on the market designed to help make your child more comfortable during the night, one of our friends, a sleep researcher in Texas, recommends a few high quality mattresses on her blog SleepHealthier.
- Lack of enticing bedtime routines
Creating a consistent bedtime routine is crucial, when trying to teach children how to properly quiet their mind and get ready for bed. A good bedtime routine is predictable, reliable, and your child will look forward to it. Without a standard routine, it becomes hard to create a habit around the process of getting ready for bed which can help settle your child down before they drift asleep.
- They’re overtired
Unlike adults, children never want to admit they are tired. There are just too many fun things to do while they’re awake! Most kids get tired in the early evening around 7-8pm and that is a good time to begin with a bedtime routine. However, if this does not match up well with what parents want to do after dinner, it can create a circumstance in which children become overtired. Once overtired it can increase anxiety and make it harder for your child to fall asleep.
5 Magical Tips to Help Your Child Stay Asleep
- Make a consistent bedtime routine
As earlier mentioned, bedtime routines are crucial. This routine can include bathing, massage, light playtime, brushing teeth, and finalizing with lullabies or bedtime stories. Regardless of what you ultimately choose, creating a consistent set of actions before bedtime will make both yours, and your child’s life much easier.
- Reduce their stress
Similarly to adults, stressful situations cause the body to release cortisol or the stress hormone in children. When its levels are high, your child might have trouble falling asleep, calming down, or even staying asleep at night. This is why its so critical that a relaxing, quiet and stress-free bedtime routine is created.
- Alleviate their fears
Scary creatures are not real, but you need to plan a time before sleeping to address these issues with your kid rather than brushing off their fears. Creating an “army” of their favorite stuffed animals to protect them during sleep or putting some water in a spray bottle and using it as “monster deterrent spray” can work wonders if your child has trouble falling asleep because they’re scared.
- Keep it all cool
Most people, including adults have an easier time falling asleep in a cool atmosphere. If you’re too hot during the night it can cause your body to sweat, making an incredibly uncomfortable experience. Sometimes they could be sensitive to surrounding temperatures caused by insufficient melatonin levels. Regulating these temperatures by covering them with light blankets can do wonders.
5.Create a sleeping inducing atmosphere
A dark and quiet room with soft sheets will set an atmosphere to keep your baby sleep throughout the night. Additionally a nightlight, something that is not too bright, can help alleviate a fear of the dark when trying to get your little one to drift off. Sometimes sleep meditation audio or white noise can help as well.
When you should consider visiting a doctor
When your best tips aren’t yielding the results you expected, it becomes frustrating, and is something that all parents are familiar with. However, when your child has a problem sleeping at all, snores, gets persistent nightmares, or breathes via their mouth, they might have a a child sleep disorder. Often these issues can be resolved through many different methods and children with issues staying asleep can sometimes benefit immensely from having their tonsils removed. This clears up their air pathways and makes it easier for them to enter REM sleep.
Ensuring that your child sleeps throughout the night might seem like a stressful and daunting task, but it is worth it for their proper development. Implementing some of the strategies and tips mentioned above can really help your child create a good routine and wake up feeling rested and ready to learn!