As an adult, we dream about that time of day where we can finally crash into our warm beds and rest after a long day. Children, however, often look at bedtime as a time they despise and will find any way possible to avoid it.
Although they may not understand, sleep plays a vital role in academic performance as well as behavior. As a parent, bedtime can become a battle but one that should be fought to ensure your child gets a restful night’s sleep.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following daily sleep totals for kids:
- 4 to 12 Months. 12 to 16 hours
- 1 to 2 Years. 11 to 14 hours
- 3 to 5 Years. 10 to 13 hours
- 6 to 12 Years. 9 to 12 hours
- 13 to 18 Years. 8 to 10 hours
Studies have shown that even a slight deviation from the required amount of sleep can adversely affect your child’s performance in school.
Manage the Environment
When creating a space for your child to sleep, a quiet, dark space with a cooler room temperature can increase the likelihood of a restful night’s sleep.
As your child grows, ensure that their bed becomes with them. Sleeping in a mattress that is too small can leave your child uncomfortable, resulting in tossing and turning throughout the night. A supportive pillow can also decrease the likelihood of a stiff neck in the morning.
Turn Off Electronics
As bedtime grows closer, have your child turn off their electronic devices as the blue light can negatively impact their ability to rest. Having the TVs on can interfere with their ability to fall asleep or wake them throughout the night. To ensure a restful night’s sleep, have your children turn off all devices at least one hour before bedtime.
Set a Bedtime
When bedtimes are enforced, a routine can be created, which will allow for a more comfortable nighttime process. If a child goes to bed at the same time every night, they are more likely to wake up well-rested. The same goes for the wake-up times; they should be the same across the board to allow for consistency.
Chances are you would have trouble falling and staying asleep if you downed a big cup of coffee in the evening. Kids may have just as much difficulty if they drink caffeinated drinks in the hours before bedtime. Water or milk is better, healthier options.
If your child knows their routine, they will be more likely able to settle down after a long day. Some methods may include a story, their favorite book, or a bedtime story. Begin implementing these routines when children are young to develop a consistent routine.
Allow Your Children Time To Relax
Stress doesn’t only affect adults. Worries about grades, friends, or the monster under the bed can trigger stress and anxiety that make it hard for children and adolescents to fall asleep. Teaching your child meditation, calming yoga poses, or progressive relaxation techniques can help them learn to relax at bedtime. Progressive relaxation involves tensing then relaxing muscle groups, starting with the lower part of the body first.
If your child struggles with getting a restful night’s sleep, our Atlanta chiropractors can provide some helpful tips and tricks to get your child on the right track. For more information, contact our office today by dialing (404) 889-8828 to schedule an appointment!