Parents‘ Guide to Children‘s Sleep
- Published on :08/16/2018
No one would even dare to argue that sleep is highly important for children of all ages. Without enough of it, they tend to get irritable, tire too quickly and are unable to concentrate. And that’s only short-term consequences. The long-term ones include worse results at school, hyperactivity, and constant moodiness. Here, we present a few tips on making your child’s sleep routine consistent and beneficial.
Setting Up a Schedule
Just as it is recommended for you, it is also important for your kids to have a bedtime routine. The most effective – and therefore most popular – steps include a warm bath or shower, followed by story time. For the littlest ones, who still cannot read, you could tell some in a dimmed lighting, or play audio. Older ones should read themselves, so do ensure appropriate lighting, yet avoid any blue or fluorescent ones.
Your children’s bedrooms should be an entirely screen-free zone. That means no phones, tablets, laptops or TVs. No exceptions! It is really difficult for children to control themselves and put their phones away on time, so you, as a parent, should step in. Blue light, emitted by the devices, is known for disturbing sleep patterns and can result in problems at school and home, if not controlled properly. Bonus: as a parent, you will get a great opportunity to secretly check on what’s your child been up to. While this might not be absolutely necessary, it might prevent any cyberbullying and unhealthy use.
Photo credit: Diego Passadori
Watch the Homework
Ironically as it sounds, homework is what often results in worse school performance. Not because it is wrong in itself, but because it is not done at the right time. Doing homework before bed can cause stress and thus prevent your child from getting quality sleep. Postponing bigger assignments to the last minute might result in staying up for too long, and, of course, some more stress. This will then shorten the sleep and make it of a poor quality, which surely won’t help at school the following morning.
Photo credit: Annie Spratt
Set a Good Example
No matter how hard you try, if you don’t follow healthy habits yourself, your child won’t listen. So do stay away from those work emails before bed, try not to fall asleep in front of the TV, and swap scrolling to a chapter of a good book. Don’t forget to tell your kids how important getting enough sleep is, too. Arianna Huffington, a globally known sleep advocate, also reminds not to use sleep as punishment. Ensure your children know it is just as valuable as good nutrition, and try to achieve it in the whole family.
Take Care of the Beddings
Finally, in order for your children to get excited about bed-time, the bed has to be exciting, too. While we’re sure you’ve already got the best mattress, you need to think about the sheets, too. Look for hypoallergic fabrics that will be loving for the most sensitive of the skins. Various certifications, like Oeko-Tex of which we spoke in our latest blog post, will only help to ensure that fabrics are child-friendly. And of course, don’t forget to take a good care of the fabrics after purchasing. Use mild environmentally-friendly detergents, and ensure you wash the sheets regularly. If you’re not sure of proper care – have a look at our blog post on the topic.
Show Some Love
Whether it’s about getting to bed punctually, reading stories instead of scrolling the phone or doing laundry together, everything should be done with love. Don’t punish your children for having a bad sleep, instead – comfort them and show a great example yourself.