Is your child having trouble sleeping?
Getting enough quality sleep is crucial for a child’s development and well-being as it affects their mood, attention, learning, and memory. According to research, children who do not get adequate sleep on a regular basis may have a weakened immune system and suffer anxiety or depression. There is also emerging evidence that poor sleep in childhood may carry future cardiovascular risks in the form of high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.
However, many parents have to deal with the difficulty of getting their child into bed every night. Here are some suggestions to make bedtime easier for you and your child!
Establish a bedtime routine
A regular bedtime routine encourages good sleep patterns, which greatly helps with quality sleep for your child. Ideally, establishing this routine will help your child will go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. A good bedtime routine should consist of relaxing activities that should repeated in a similar fashion every night. For example, your routine can consist of activities such as brushing of teeth, putting on of pyjamas, and a bedtime story before calling it a night. These activities will aid in the development of sleep associations in your child, prompting them to feel sleepy at the appropriate time.
Create an ideal sleeping environment
Create a sleep-inducing environment so that it’s comfortable for your child to fall asleep throughout the night. Generally speaking, fostering a dark, quiet and well-ventilated bedroom would be ideal. However, if your child is afraid of the dark, you can consider using a dim nightlight to provide some respite. Otherwise, leave the living room light on, or your child’s bedroom door open.
Turn off electronic devices before bedtime
Blue light from digital devices like televisions, phones, and tablets decreases melatonin levels and disrupts sleepiness in children. Besides that, these electronic devices also act as distractions that can interfere with process of getting ready for bedtime. Hence, the easiest solution is to turn off or keep these devices away from your child for at least an hour before bedtime.
Give your child a comfort object if necessary
At times, ‘comfort objects’ can be useful for children to fall asleep more easily. These objects can serve to provide your child with a sense of comfort and security. Comfort objects may take the form of a blanket, a stuffed animal, or a favourite toy. However, do note that it is not recommended for children to sleep with objects before they turn a year old. This to prevent your child from running the risk of encountering strangulation and even suffocation by loose objects unknowingly in their sleep.
Following the steps above is a step towards ensuring quality sleep for your child. However, if your child continues to have trouble sleeping despite your best efforts, it is possible that they may be experiencing a sleep disorder. If you continue to encounter challenges, considering teleconsulting a Paediatrician on the WhiteCoat app.