Good sleep is necessary for your child’s growth and overall well-being. Lack of sleep can cause health and nutritional deficiency issues. This further results in poor concentration, sluggishness and irritability.
The amount of sleep that children need varies according to their age. Infants need 17-18 hours of sleep while preschoolers need 11-13 hours of sleep. Children in the age group 6-18 years need anywhere between 9-11 hours.
A good sleep needs a relaxing and disciplined bedtime routine. Here are some tips for your child to sleep soundly throughout the night and wake up refreshed every morning.
Create a Routine
A routine works best for children, especially those aged under 6 years. An hour or two before the sleep time, start preparing them for sleep. Get them to brush their teeth, take a bath if required, change into nightclothes and read a bedtime story. The predictability of a routine makes them feel comfortable and safe and settles them down for sleep.
Feed Light Meals
Make sure that children eat light meals at the dinner. Avoid oily, fatty and junk food as far as possible. Cut down caffeine and sweets. However, watch out that they eat adequate portions of the healthy meal. An empty stomach may make them hungry during bedtime or they may wake up in the middle of the night. You can give them a cup of warm milk without sugar or other added flavours just before sleep.
Make Bedroom Sleep-Ready
The atmosphere of your children’s bedroom at night should be such that it tunes their minds to sleep. It should be well-ventilated, decluttered and tidy. Dim the lights and ensure that the room is noise-free. You can put on white noise music at low volume though.
Say No to Gadgets Before Sleep
Screen time for children has increased exponentially after the pandemic hit our world. While the use of gadgets is unavoidable during some activities like school and other edutainment classes, make sure that children stay away from the screen at least two hours before bedtime. Explain to them that the blue light emitted from gadgets can disturb their sleep and harm their eyes.
Let Them Sweat During the Day
When the body is tired, it automatically gets the signal to rest and sleep. So, children must get some kind of physical exercise for at least 30 minutes to 1.5 hours every day.
As children grow older, the stress of studies, peer pressure and other external factors (such as that of the pandemic more recently) can create difficulty for them to sleep. You can teach them to practice meditation, sleep yoga postures, breathing exercises or mindfulness exercises like journaling, affirmations and gratitude prayers.
There should be no compromise on your child’s sleep. If they develop good sleep habits at a young age, they will be able to continue it lifelong.