Getting children to sleep
Following on from our last post "Why Do Children Need Sleep?" - this post is on helping children to sleep.
We know sleep is good for all of us, particularly for restoring energy and helping children grow and develop. The question is how do we ensure children get enough sleep?
How do you know your child is getting enough sleep?
If your child wakes easily in the morning: happy, cheerful and full of energy, they have had enough sleep.
If children are hard to wake, are dozy, inattentive, hyperactive and have regular meltdowns they are probably not getting enough sleep.
The good thing is children love predictability and knowing what happens next. It makes them feel safe and secure. This means if your child and family have daily and weekly routines, this helps to establish good sleep patterns. Here are a few suggestions on how to establish good sleep routines with children:
- having a quiet time
- story or reading time
- clean teeth
- being tucked in and kissed goodnight quietly
We recommend that your approach during this routine be quieter and calmer than your usual
interactions and that the general activity around the house be slowed down if possible.
Don't underestimate your children's need for sleep. Here at Therapy Professionals we see some children whose disabilities worsened and others who have been labelled as hyperactive, disobedient, or clumsy when poor sleep has been the significant problem.
We all want our children to thrive and one thing we can do for them is establish good sleeping habits. This will help the child and the household.
Healthline Editorial Team (2017) ’10 tips to get your kids to sleep’, Healthline.
Ministry of Health (2017) ‘Helping children sleep better’.
Macmillan, A, (2015) Sleep tips for kids of all ages’, Webmd.com.
Marcu, Shai, The benefits of a goodnight’s sleep – Sleep to remember. Remember to sleep, TED –Ed.
Harvard Medical School (Jan 2006), Importance of sleep: six reasons not to scrimp on sleep.
American Psychological Association, Why sleep is important.
Leech, Joe (June 2017), ‘Ten reasons why good sleep is important’, Healthline.
Peterson, SM and Werneburg, BL, Sleep: The foundation for healthy habits, Mayo Clinic