Sleep Guide for Children: Help Them Get the Rest They Need
With today’s sleep guide for children, you can help your children get the restorative rest they need for good health.
Did you know that insomnia produces harmful effects if it’s not treated in a timely manner? It’s important for children to have good sleeping habits.
Sleep is something that our bodies need in order to reestablish fundamental physical and psychological functions.
Sleep guide for children: 5 points
To encourage restorative sleep for children, it’s best to follow the series of steps below:
Follow a nightly routine related to going to sleep
Getting children used to going to bed at the same time every night is fundamental. To make this possible, you should establish routine activities that your child carries out prior to bed time – for example, taking a bath, eating dinner at least 2 hours before bedtime, setting specific times for watching TV, reading a story, etc.
The quality of children’s sleep has a great deal to do with the routine that parents establish – and, of course, the time they wake up in the morning. You should allow your children to sleep as much time as they need.
The place where your child sleeps
The room where your son or daughter sleeps should be conducive to sleep. This means maintaining an adequate temperature and creating a cozy environment.
Your child’s bedroom should have natural light, but be kept dark at night. If your child is afraid of the dark, you can turn on a soft night light – just make sure it doesn’t shine directly in your child’s face.
It’s important for children to associate their bedrooms with sleep at nighttime. Your child should always sleep in the same bed and with comfortable pajamas.
Excessive noise and distraction
Video games, television and music devices should be inaccessible to children at bedtime. The devices tempt children to play and distract them from sleeping.
It’s also important to control noise levels in your child’s room to avoid interrupting sleeping. If you wake your child, he or she may have a hard time falling back asleep.
Having autonomy at bedtime
While children need to be close to their parents to feel safe, they must also learn to sleep alone in their rooms. We suggest accompanying them sometimes when they’re falling asleep. However, this shouldn’t be the rule. You should also let your children fall asleep on their own.
Limit physical activities at night
Another fundamental practice of this sleep guide for children is that little ones shouldn’t do physical activities just before going to bed. In fact, parents should limit physical activity at least 2 hours before bedtime.
Children should also eat dinner at least 2 hours before bedtime, and stay away from foods with a high sugar content. Furthermore, reduce or eliminate carbohydrates at night so that digestion is easier.
Avoid giving your kids stimulating drinks like tea, caffeine and chocolate. Provide your children with good nutrition rich in fruits and vegetables. All of this will guarantee that your children get enough sleep, and that their sleep will be restorative.
The harmful effects on children who have problems sleeping
When kids don’t get enough sleep, the consequences on their bodies become evident: changes in mood, lack of interest in physical activity, reduced ability to pay attention and concentrate.
Children who are lacking proper rest are prone to suffer emotional problems as a result of their imbalance.
Causes of insomnia in children
The majority of mental health cases involve a decline in sleep quality and quantity, as well as other illnesses like enuresis – a lack of control over bladder function. Other factors include environmental conditions, lighting, medications and allergies.
While establishing a routine for your children isn’t easy, you should be persistent and ask the entire family to help out.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Arboledas, G. P. (2004). Parasomnias en la infancia. Diagnóstico.
- Challamel, M.-J., & Franco, P. (2011). Insomnio y trastornos de la instauración del ritmo día/noche en los niños pequeños. EMC – Tratado de Medicina. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1636-5410(11)71132-1
- Manrique, J. J. (2011). Higiene del sueño. Oihane Ruiz Linares, (Centro Psicología Bilbao), 49–51. https://www.centro-psicologia.com/es/higiene-del-sueno.html