As a parent, one of the most important jobs is ensuring your children get all the sleep they need to be healthy and productive. Otherwise, the consequences can be devastating, from stunting physical growth to limiting brain development.
Nevertheless, monitoring your children’s sleep is not that easy, and there are many steps you will need to take in order to resist even the most stubborn child. By offering these simple tips to help children fall asleep, you may quickly find that setting up an easy sleep routine for your young ones is not so difficult after all.
Watch What They Eat and When
Children can be fussy when it comes to their food, so watching what they eat almost goes without saying. When it comes to aiding sleep, however, you need to be just as mindful of when they are eating. A big meal too close to bedtime, for example, will almost certainly ensure a cranky child, and caffeine should be avoided altogether.
You should also be aware of the types of food your children are having before bed. Foods that contain protein and carbs, such as milk, turkey or natural peanut butter, will help put your child to sleep quickly. Also try bananas, eggs and cheese.
Set Up a Pre-Bedtime Routine
A good way to help ease your children to sleep (and set them up with a good habit for the rest of their lives) is to establish and maintain a pre-bedtime routine. Ideally, about 30 minutes before bedtime, start a very light activity that helps your kids decompress after a busy day.
Reading is perhaps the best solution in situations like these, but be sure to steer your children away from screens — this includes television and video games. You also don’t want to excite your children too much, so even if exercise does aid your children’s sleep, spooky stories and other stimulating activities might have to wait.
Check the Space
If you feel as if your child is having sleeping issues, there is a chance that something physical is keeping him or her from falling asleep. This can be anything, but with young children, it is typically something in the air or their bed that is causing the disruption. In other words, check your child’s room and possessions thoroughly for specific environmental signs.
Allergens can cause many issues — including congestion and itchiness — and if you suspect that allergens are disrupting your child’s sleeping, you may want to go to a doctor soon. You can also replace your child’s clothes and blankets with more breathable materials to see if that helps. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the room temperature, too.
Help Your Children
One of the best tips to help children fall asleep is to work with them on getting to bed. For example, if your kids are afraid of the dark, give them some kind of protection totem (like a flashlight) to help them get through the night. You can even go so far as to offer a reward system for consistent good bedtime behavior. The choices here are endless, as long as you work with your children.
Practice These Tips to Help Children Fall Asleep
Being a parent is an incredibly difficult responsibility that can be made a lot harder if your children start developing sleep-related disorders. Instead, curtail these issues as best you can by encouraging your children to take charge of their sleep schedule. You might receive some pushback, but by staying on top of things, you are sure to instill some good habits in your children.
About the author:
Dr. Abhijit Shinde is the Medical Director at Aayu Clinics Lakeview Immediate Care. A graduate of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, he has a long history of experience in primary care, urgent care and ER.