For most parents, it’s a nightmare to get their children to sleep. Children are playful and if given a choice to choose between play or watching TV and sleep, they would choose to play or watch TV than sleep. Every parent wants to go to bed instead of waiting for their children to sleep on time, but that doesn’t work like this always.
Ask any sleep-deprived parent and they are willing to give or do anything to make their children sleep and get some for themselves.
Sleep deprivation, whether for adults or children, can cause a lot of health and mental problem. It can lead to insomnia, tiredness, and daytime drowsiness. It can also lead to troubles with memory, creative functioning, and staying active.
However, there are solutions available to make your child sleep.
Set a bedtime
School-going children need anywhere between 9-11 hours of sleep every night, but a lot of factors can affect sleeping patterns and time. some are always playful and will not sleep even when their body is ready. You must set a time when they must go to bed and tell them in strict terms that the timing won’t change as long as it’s not a holiday or vacation.
- Set a wakeup time
Every child is different and their sleeping habits too are different. Once you know how much your child sleeps, then you can easily calculate the wake-up time. It’s okay to allow the child to sleep late and extra on weekends or holidays, but then that should not become an excuse for them to sleep or wake up late.
- Have some bedtime routine
If you have a toddler or infant, then the best way to make them sleep is to have a daily routine such as bedtime storytelling or reading a storybook. At first, your child might struggle to adjust or no sleep, but over time will get used to it. Reduce the number of minutes you spend on this activity as the child gets older.
- Turn off the TV and keep away from mobile
Keeping TV, computer/laptop or mobile on during sleeping time suppresses the production of melatonin- a hormone responsible for the sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin levels are high during the sleeping time and the blue light emitted by these devices reduces the production of this hormone. Another reason to keep these devices away is people use them to watch series, games or network with others, which in turn makes them forget about sleep.
- Eat food that can induce sleep
According to Ayurveda, a glass of warm milk actually helps people with better sleep. Other foods that can help with inducing sleep in children are almonds, bananas, cherries, dark chocolates, potatoes, and whole wheat bread. Give your child milk 20-30 minutes before sleep and this will do wonders to their sleeping cycle. For even better sleep, you can add honey in the milk.
- Warm bath
Some people say a warm bath also helps with sleeping. There is scientific evidence to back this claim and many people even vouch for it. Although this may or may not work in some situations, so it’s always ideal that you try this for a couple of times before deciding whether or not it’s good for your child.
- Eat dinner early
In order to sleep to make your child sleep early, you must eat your dinner early. Across the world, researchers have proved that eating dinner at least 3 hours before sleeping helps not only in digesting food better but also in sleeping better. So if you want your child to sleep at 9.30 pm, then you must ideally give your child dinner by 6.30 pm or maximum by 7.30. pm.
- Create an ideal sleeping environment
If possible, turn off all lights and keep only soft light on in your child’s room. If you are watching the TV, reduce the volume. Keep the room temperature just right so that the child doesn’t feel too cold or too hot.
- Remove fear
Most children don’t sleep alone for one or the other fear. You must reassure your child about fear and tell him that there’s nothing to afraid about.
Check for any underlying disorders
If the child has a problem sleeping for a longer duration, then you must check for signs of any disease or sleeping disorder. Ask your child once or take him to a pediatrician as he will be able to judge whether or not the child has any issues.
There are other things you can do to ensure your child sleeps well. If your child has a habit of waking up in the night and waking you too, then you put your family photo in the room so that when the child wakes up in the night, he can see the photos and feel comfortable. You can also give your child a nice foot massage to soothe and calm them.