The idea that sleep disorders are an exclusive problem of adults has settled in the popular imagination. However, children can also have difficulty falling asleep or have nighttime awakenings that affect their rest.
Unlike adults, children are not able to distinguish when it is time to go to bed, so they can stay around the house until the parents decide put them to bed However, when a child hasn’t gotten enough sleep, the next day they will be irritable and have trouble concentrating. That’s why it’s important for parents to make sure they develop good sleep habits from the earliest years of the child.
5 tips to develop good sleeping habits in your child
1. Establish a regular sleep schedule
Maintaining a regular sleep schedule, both for waking up and going to bed, is essential for children. In this way, his sleep-wake cycle adapts to this routine and the child will be able to fall asleep more easily, while resting better and waking up more quickly in the morning. As there is a sleep schedule, when bedtime approaches, signs such as yawning and the feeling of heaviness in the eyelids automatically appear, so it will be easier to put the child to bed and make him fall asleep immediately.
2. Create a routine that facilitates sleep
In essence, it is about preparing the child’s mind to go to bed, resorting to a series of habitual actions. For example, a routine can be brushing teeth, peeing, going to bed, reading a story and turning off the light or, having a glass of milk, brushing teeth, peeing, going to bed and singing a song with the light off. The important thing is that the routine is relaxing for the child, and prepares him for sleep.
3. Prevent him from going to bed hungry
When the child is hungry, it will be difficult for him to fall asleep and rest well. Therefore, it is advisable to prepare a light snack before going to bed, such as: a piece of fruit or a cup of cereal with a little hot milk. In this way, the child will not only satisfy his appetite but will feel calmer as it has been shown that some foods, such as milk and fruit, help to fall asleep. Obviously, you should avoid energy foods, such as chocolate, sodas, and iced tea.
4. Motivate the child to exercise daily
Physical activity is a very beneficial habit for health, which also helps to rest better at night and to fall asleep more quickly. When the child performs physical activity during the day, he arrives at night more exhausted and will be able to sleep better. However, consider that when you do physical exercise, the body is activated, so it will be much more difficult to fall asleep. For this reason, it is best to practice sports between 4 and 6 hours before go to bed.
5. Take care of the environment of the room
As important as the sleep routine, is the environment of the room where the child sleeps. If there is too much light or noise in the room, it will be difficult for him to rest well. For this reason, it is recommended that the bedroom be quiet, dark and at a suitable temperature at bedtime. In addition, it is convenient that this room is only used for sleeping, in this way the little one will immediately associate the bedroom with positive, pleasant and relaxing sensations that encourage sleep and rest.