Children are known for being bundles of joy and love to explore, experiment, and play with their surroundings and other children. Although playing is an essential part of a child’s development, learning and having a good night’s sleep is also a part of their developmental process. However, striking a balance between play, school, and rest is easier said than done for most parents.
Contrary to what most people think, children aren’t getting enough sleep throughout their daily lives. Although most younger adults and teenagers need around 8 hours of sleep in a day, children will usually need approximately 10 – 11 hours of sleep. Still, most children will get approximately 9.5 hours of sleep. This can impede the growth and learning process for most children.
When a child is well-rested, they can grow, develop, and learn more skills. A good night’s sleep can optimize children to focus more on their learning process and completing tasks. Compared to exhausted and sleepy children, a well-rested child will enjoy their day more with friends and family members.
What Makes A Good Sleeping Pattern?
There are many reasons why most children aren’t able to get a sufficient amount of sleeping hours. Most would say that our current modern and digital lifestyle is the main culprit when it comes to negatively impacting children’s sleeping habits. But other than screen time on smartphones, most children are also swamped with homework and extra-curricular activities.
Some factors come into play, such as traffic and seeing parents working a hectic schedule, stressing a child even more. Most children will need a calm environment to get into bedtime mode.
Recent data suggest that a child should be getting around nine to eleven hours of sleep so that they’ll be able to function throughout much of the day. If their school schedule is around 8 in the morning, they’ll need to sleep by 10 PM the night before.
It’s essential to know how to effectively read your child’s body clock since this will help set a consistent sleeping schedule for them. If you’re not quite sure how their body clocks work, there’s a comprehensive guide on the circadian biorhythm, which can help you understand your and your child’s sleeping patterns.
It will also help if you and your child practice a strict bedtime routine rather than one that’s not regulated. This is a great way of helping your child’s body clock adapt to the schedule and ensure that they wind down appropriately at night.
A good bedtime routine can help prevent stress, optimize learning, and reduce the likelihood of behavioral problems fro developing later on in the child’s life. So what are some good ways of developing a good sleeping habit? Here’s what you’ll need to know.
Steer Clear From Caffeine
You should keep your child away from coffee. Although it’s considered safe, the American Academy of Pediatrics would discourage giving coffee to children. Contrary to popular belief, caffeine isn’t just present in coffee, but it’s also present in various drinks, such as milk tea, energy drinks, and some forms of chocolate. Caffeine is known for “focusing” a person’s energy at a certain timespan, which can mess up a person’s biorhythm.
If your child is already feeling sleepy at night, it’s best to serve them a warm glass of milk rather than a steaming cup of chocolate that might contain caffeine. You can also give them dessert right after their meals, but make sure it’s not chocolate-based.
No Late Afternoon Naps
Although napping can help them regain their energy, napping can also cause an imbalance in their sleeping habit. It’s important to get them in the mood to sleep when it’s already their bedtime. If your child does feel sleepy, you can always make them have a short nap early in the afternoon.
Have a Daily Bedtime Ritual
Psychologically, the best way of getting your child in the mood for bed is by giving them daily activities to prepare them for bed. This can be in the form of brushing their teeth, helping them take a warm shower, or getting them into their bedtime clothing. This is a great way of conditioning a child to become sleepy after a set of activities.
It’s also important to ensure that a bedroom is a place for sleeping. Many parents will usually place many toys, gadgets, and devices in their child’s room, which can be detrimental to their sleeping habits. Instead of placing toys and gadgets inside their room, gadgets should be kept elsewhere, such as the living room. Toys should also be kept so that they won’t feel stimulated. Lastly, it’s important to turn the lights off.
Sleep is an integral part of your child’s development and learning process. They must get a consistent amount of sleep that’s around 9 – 11 hours a day. With proper regulation and supervision, it’s possible.