7 Ways to Sleep Better When Your Kids Are Up All Night
September 21, 20226 min read
You may be sleep deprived when your kids are up all night, but there are ways to help them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Sleep is a fundamental building block to healthy living. Too little sleep, interruption, or sleep deprivation cannot be managed the way we think. We rely heavily on adequate and uninterrupted sleep to recharge, so any sleep loss will have consequences that can be detrimental to our well-being.
Sleep deprivation can cause problems for everyone in the family, especially children. It can also affect adults' ability to function at work and change a person's usually happy persona for the worst. Sleep experts continuously drive home the need to have a good night's rest consistently, yet life always has a way of throwing us a curve ball.
Children can keep you out of sleep for several reasons, and each circumstance requires a different approach to ensure that everyone in the family gets enough sleep at night. Here are some tips on how to help your child fall asleep and stay asleep.
Create a quiet space
If your child has trouble falling asleep, try creating a quiet space where they can relax. If falling asleep is a recurring problem for your child, set a nightly routine that includes a wind-down period before bedtime. Create a pleasant sleep environment with the right bedding and pillows, and try using a fan or a humidifier to help create the desired soothing environment. You can also use aromatherapy oils such as lavender, chamomile, or peppermint to help calm your child's senses.
Spend quiet time with your child, perhaps reading a bedtime story or simply listening to soft, slow music and cuddling. This depends on your child's age, but these bonding rituals work wonders for younger children.
Something To Do
Another thing you can do is give your child something to do while you're trying to sleep. This depends on the age of your child. It might seem silly, but sometimes just having a task to complete helps children wind down and fall asleep—all you're doing to focusing your child's attention on something that will lead to sleep.
Giving your child a task like reading a book might be met with resistance, so you have to be more creative in your approach. You may have to create the need to read by talking a bit about a specific book and comparing a character in the book to your child. Pick a strong character with good virtues you'd like your child to emulate.
You can try starting a model-building project with your child and have them work a bit on it during quiet time. Also, avoid caffeine and other "energy drinks, disrupting sleep patterns. Finally, if your child wakes up at night, encourage them to sleep instead of getting out of bed.
They Can Ask For Help.
It would help if you let your child know they can ask for help in any situation. If your child is still wide awake at bedtime, try wind-down techniques like creating the right sleep atmosphere by dimming the bedroom light, tucking your child in, and reading or just having a little chat. This might become something that your child will start looking forward to.
In our busy lifestyles, we often neglect quality time with our children and spend half an hour before bedtime talking with our children, but more importantly, listening to your child ensures that your child will not feel neglected. Pay attention to your child's concerns and let them know they can ask for help or advice anytime.
Rearrange your child's bedroom
Children often get anxious about fictitious characters like bogy men under their beds. A good tip is to put their bed in the corner of the room. This will help your child feel more secure and less anxious. It also makes it easier for them to see out into the rest of their bedroom. A plus point about having the bed in the corner is that it frees up a lot of play space for your child. Leaving the bedroom door slightly ajar also helps to calm your child.
The dark tricks the imagination, and a dim nightlight will keep your child at ease. When you tuck your little one in, please go through the motion of letting them see you check under the bed, and check to see that the windows are secure. If your child is still very young, you may want to use a baby monitor to make sure your little one is not having bad dreams or nightmares.
Nightmares are common in people of all ages and usually occur during REM sleep, and the dream can be remembered. Sleepwalking and night terrors occur in slow-wave sleep and happen during the first third of the sleep cycle. These episodes are not recalled or remembered. If your child experiences night terrors or sleepwalking, it is essential to see a sleep specialist.
Create a bedtime and sleep routine
If you're having trouble getting your kids to bed at a reasonable hour, you need to establish a bedtime routine and stick to it. As part of your bedtime routine, you must create a wake-up routine. This must be at the same time every day. The idea is to enforce healthy sleep habits by being disciplined and strict on adequate sleep.
You may face resistance in the beginning, but getting up at the same time each day will teach your child the value of sleep. Your child or children will learn to associate going to bed with waking up early, and eventually, they will start falling asleep earlier.
Setting limits and boundaries for your children is part of good parenting. It has been proven that children thrive within boundaries compared to children with free reign over their time. So, don't feel wrong about implementing a healthy sleep routine in your home.
Control digital screens
As a rule, you should not allow your child to watch TV or use a cell phone or any digital device for at least 2 hours before bedtime. The blue light emitted from digital screens disrupts or confuses circadian rhythms. This could be the cause of the sleep problems your child is experiencing.
Melatonin is vital to sleep-wake cycles. High melatonin levels make people sleepy, but digital screen blue light suppresses melatonin production. Scrolling web pages on a phone or computer right before bed can keep your child up for 30 to 60 minutes longer than their usual bedtime.
Your child's bedroom should ideally be a screen-free zone, or a set switch-off time must be respected and adhered to. Reading books promotes quality sleep as your body is allowed to produce melatonin to bring on sleep naturally.
Dealing with insomnia in children
Persistent insomnia is considered a sleep disorder. For many children with insomnia, the cause may lie in their daytime habits and how they spend their time before bed.
Overeating sugary food during the day or watching TV late into the night causes insomnia. Setting boundaries in your home is essential for quality sleep and general health.
Often, you will find that stress caused by school-related issues or issues at home, like parents' marital problems, will trigger insomnia. Insomnia can also be brought on due to the side effects of medication like antidepressants and ADHD medication. There are many different causes of insomnia in children. If you notice persistent insomnia, it is best to visit your doctor or a sleep specialist to establish the root cause of the problem.
An important consideration is not to send your child to their bedroom for a time-out punishment because the bedroom and bed will be associated with punishment.
Avoid heavy meals close to bedtime and encourage an active lifestyle but always remember to follow your wind-down period before bedtime. Natural light exposure in the morning will help your child wake up and start the day fresh. Daytime naps are okay as long as they are short power naps.
As a concerned parent, you should monitor your child's activities and sleep routine. Insomnia can gradually grow into a serious problem if left unchecked.
A few last words
Quality sleep is vitally essential for the health and well-being of every family member, and sleep should be coordinated to ensure it is not disrupted or compromised. No number of short naps will equal the required length of sleep necessary to recharge and rejuvenate the body properly.
View nightly quality sleep as a moral necessity for good health and create a family lifestyle that promotes good sleeping habits. A family with good sleep habits is a happy family.