Parenting is hard, and one of the most challenging daily tasks you face getting your child to go to sleep. It seems no matter what night it is, your child needs a drink of water, to go to the bathroom, or has a stomach ache about .4 seconds after you tuck them in. While some kids just have a fear of missing out, others simply struggle with falling asleep. Thankfully, there are a few ways you can help ease their insomnia. Check out these five ways to help your kids fall asleep.
Choose the right mattress.
Sometimes the root cause of a child being unable to sleep is that they don’t have comfortable and supportive mattresses. If this is the case, your child’s lack of sleep could be due to the fact that they’re not comfortable enough to get to sleep. Think about your own sleeping arrangements: do you have trouble falling asleep if you’re not comfortable? Try to have a conversation with your child and see how they feel about their current mattress, or try lying in their bed to see if you can fall asleep. All this information will help you determine if buying another mattress is the solution to your child’s sleeping challenges.
Limit food and drink after a certain time.
If your child regularly wakes up because they have to go to the bathroom, then you should consider limiting when they can eat and drink before bed. For instance, it’s a good rule to disallow snacks and drinks one hour prior to bedtime. This will give your child plenty of time to go to the bathroom without worrying about a full bladder keeping them up or causing an accident. In addition, this will also provide plenty of time for you to care for that “tummy ache” that always seems to creep up right before bed.
Encourage physical activity.
If your child lives a sedentary lifestyle, then he or she will likely have trouble falling asleep. Encourage your child to exercise or participate in physical activities instead of playing video games or watching television. The more your child runs around during the day, the more energy they’ll use. This tip will leave your child exhausted by the time they’re supposed to go to sleep. Your child will need to sleep in order to replenish the energy they used up during the day, which means they’ll actually want to go to sleep and may even sleep longer than usual.
Monitor their diet.
Most children don’t have the healthiest of diets— especially if they’re picky eaters — but if your child is running on sugar and caffeine, it is likely why they’re not sleeping. Instead of allowing your child to live on junk food, you need to reign it back. Limit their sugar intake throughout the day and replace it with fruits and vegetables instead. In addition, make sure they’re not drinking anything that contains caffeine. If they do, though, be sure to restrict the caffeine drinks too well before bedtime (so no Mountain Dew at dinner).
Check their bedroom.
Sometimes there are distractions in your child’s room that could be keeping him or her awake at night. For instance, if your child has a TV, computer, phone, or tablet in their room, this could be a stimulant that causes them to go to bed much later than they normally would without the electronic devices. In addition, what are the conditions in your child’s room? Could it be too hot, too cold, too noisy, too bright? Any of these issues could play a role in your child’s inability to fall asleep in their own room. Be sure to inspect it and make any necessary adjustments that could help remedy the situation. Finally, be sure your child has the sleep accessories they need to be more comfortable. For instance, allowing them to have a stuffed animal for protection or a water spray bottle to keep monsters away is a good way to help them soothe themselves at bed time and not rely so heavily on you. The best thing for you to do is talk with your child about their sleep needs and see what you can do to make falling asleep easier for them.
Having a child that doesn’t want to sleep can be exhausting for you and them. Plus, when a child doesn’t get enough sleep, it could have detrimental effects on their mood, performance in school, and even their diet. By using these five tips, you can help your restless child achieve sweet dreams. This way, both you and your child will be happier and more well rested.