Winning the Battle of Bedtime
By Sara Butler
Children have the reputation of being sleep thieves. When they’re babies, they need to be fed and changed 24/7, so it’s understandable that they wake in the night. But as they get older, they may still refuse to go to bed and get the sleep they need.
Getting enough sleep is very important, so you must address these issues as soon as you can. If they don’t get enough sleep at night, it can impact their concentration and learning at school. It also impacts their moods and even weakens their immune system. Here’s what you need to know about your sleep habits and how you can help them to get the sleep they need!
Why Your Child is Fighting Sleep
If your child consistently has trouble getting to sleep at night and staying that way, then there are probably a few reasons why. Some of the most common reasons children fight sleep and have problems staying asleep include:
- Different sleep needs - Different children need different amounts of sleep. Some need nine hours to feel great while others may need 12 or more. The average amount of sleep school-aged kids need is 10 to 11 hours per night. If they don’t get enough, then they’ll have issues getting up the next morning and performing at school.
- Leaving excitement behind - A lot of kids are under the impression that when they go to bed, they’re missing out on something exciting.
- Not enough transition - If your kid is revved up and excited, horsing around with you or their siblings, then they can’t be expected to fall right asleep. You must have a transition period between the activities of the day and bedtime, so work in some quiet time.
- Being overtired - Believe or not, being overtired can cause problems getting to sleep. Many children are hyperactive when tired and that can make bedtime even more precarious.
- Not tired enough - If your child takes a nap late in the day, that may be sabotaging your bedtime plans. Make sure your child has a busy and active day so they’re sufficiently tired for bedtime.
There are several strategies to try to make bedtime easier for everyone. You should:
- Create a bedtime routine and follow it
- Make evening peaceful and quiet
- Have a consistent bedtime (and wake time too)
- Make their bedroom comfortable
- Be firm about bedtime routines and rules
Getting your child to sleep can be a struggle, but it's a battle you can win if you know where to start!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Snellville, Ga.