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7 Simple Ways You Can Improve Your Child's Sleep

7 Simple Ways You Can Improve Your Child's Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is a significant part of everyone’s routine. Both adults and young children need rest to lead a healthy lifestyle. Resting allows the brain to work on developmental activities, including memory consolidation (the process of learning from your experiences).

Multiple studies have shown that kids who get enough sleep have improved learning and memory capabilities. They also have better mental and physical health. Being sleep deprived can lead to health conditions, including high blood pressure and obesity. 

 

How much sleep should a child get?

A child’s sleep needs vary based on multiple factors: age, genetics, and cultural differences. The recommendations outlined here are based on the guidelines released by The American Academy of Pediatrics. 

  • Infants under 1 year: 12 to 16 hours a day
  • Children 1 to 2 years old: 11 to 14 hours a day
  • Children 3 to 5 years old: 10 to 13 hours a day
  • Children 6 to 12 years: 9 to 12 hours a day
  • Teenager 13 to 18 years old: 8 to 10 hours a day

 

How do you improve your child’s sleep?

According to the Sleep Foundation, not all approaches outlined here will work well for all children. These recommendations can be adjusted based on how the children respond. While the list may seem daunting, you are not expected to do them all at once. It is also incredibly important to give the system some time to work before you make necessary changes. 

If you want to promote good sleep, you also have to ensure that your children have good sleep hygiene—which is a collection of habits that improve sleep. This system thrives on consistency and repetition for it to be effective. 

1. Create a Routine

Humans, especially young children, all thrive on habit. A consistent routine before bedtime lets your child’s mind and body know that it’s time to prepare for sleep. Typically, your child should have several quiet and soothing activities before they are put to sleep. It may include:

  • Brushing teeth
  • Taking a warm bath
  • Reading
  • Yoga

 

2. Set a Schedule

Keeping their bedtimes the same on weekends and school nights will help the child’s body clock to promote sleeping with regularity. 

 

3. Screen curfews

Implementing a screen curfew will help your child’s brain realize that it is time to doze off. Blue lights emitted by TVs and phones suppress melatonins, which are hormones that promote sleep. Screen time is also a form of activity that stimulates the brain and makes it harder for it to relax and prepare for sleep. 

Experts recommend that electronic devices and television should not be placed in the bedroom or used an hour before bedtime. 

 

4. Stay active

Having your kids engage in physical activities for at least an hour a day helps them fall asleep and stay asleep. However, it would help if you avoided vigorous activities two hours before bedtime. 

 

5. Avoid Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant that can make it harder for children to fall asleep. This stimulant is not only found in soda and coffee, but trace amounts can also be found in tea and chocolate. 

 

6. Reduce Noise

Research from The National Center for Biotechnology Information found that even mild sound disturbances can affect the quality of sleep even if it doesn’t wake you up. If you live in an area with a lot of street noise, consider investing in noise-blocking curtains. You can also use a white noise machine to block distracting sounds. 

 

7. Aromatherapy

Essential oils or dried potpourri sachets are known for helping provide a soothing sleep. Calming scents like geranium, bergamot, lavender, and chamomile have a mild sedative effect that can induce sleep. 


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