Sleep Guide for Children: Help Them Get the Rest They Need

How can parents help their children get the rest they need? If your children have a hard time sleeping, take note of the following sleep guide.
Sleep Guide for Children: Help Them Get the Rest They Need

Last update: 27 January, 2019

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:

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.

The Sleep Guide for Children who Have a Hard Time Sleeping

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 Sleep Guide for Children who Have a Hard Time Sleeping

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.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.