We come across many hurdles as parents, some of which are more easily fixed than others. One of the most common problems is that of sleep – or should we say lack thereof. It may be that your child has no issues falling asleep but wakes throughout the night, or perhaps it is getting to sleep that is the issue. Whatever the problem, there are lots of things you can try to help fix the problem. Here are 4 things you can do to help your kids sleep better at night.
Boycott the gadgets!
Most kids use tablets or computer games regularly, which isn’t a huge issue, but if your children are using these just before bedtime, it could be detrimental to their sleep. Playing games or watching videos stimulates the brain which, in turn, can make you more alert. If your children rely on TV or movies to get to sleep, you will find it very difficult to break the habit when they get older. Consider reading them a bedtime story instead or, if they are old enough, encourage them to read on their own. Reading relaxes the mind and creates a calmness that is sure to aid a night of restful sleep.
Experiment with essential oils
Essential oils come in a variety of scents, many of which are known to promote relaxation and calm, which can help people sleep. Oils are readily available online from sites such as Kumi Oils, an essential oil supplier based in Utah, who stock a wide range of oils as well as bundles that are perfect for kids. Whether used in a diffuser or straight onto the skin, they could help your little angels get a good night’s sleep.
Decorate their bedroom
The more relaxing and inviting your kid’s bedroom is, the more inclined they will be to sleep in it. Ask for their input in terms of color and accessories and, assuming they are old enough, let them help. Freshly painted walls, new soft furnishings, or even a comfy new bed could easily transform a bedroom into a space they want to relax, and more importantly, go to sleep in. If you don’t already have blackout blinds in their room, they are a wise investment. Younger children especially can be easily woken when the light starts streaming into their room but blackouts will remedy that issue.
Drinking and eating
Many children wake during the night for the toilet if they have been drinking too much right before bedtime, so it’s a good idea, where possible, to limit liquid consumption. Hunger is another common reason for children waking in the night, so if you don’t already do so, consider giving them some supper before they settle down. A piece of toast or a small bowl of oatmeal or cereal should fill them up enough to make sure they sleep through the night.
Address health issues related to sleep
Sometimes, having a sleep routine and boycotting gadgets aren’t enough. Various potential health issues can cause kids to not want or be unable to sleep. Separation anxiety or nightmares are something that most children experience and can affect their waking hours when parents don’t seek professional intervention.
Although rare, some children suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. It’s a condition where the airways are blocked by enlarged tonsils or nasal tissues, resulting in loud snoring, labored breathing, and restless sleep. Having a child wear a nose mask and using a device called an APAP (or automatic positive airway pressure) machine can help give them a good night’s rest.
The better your kid’s sleep, the better you sleep, so it’s worthwhile trying out as many things as necessary until you find a long-term solution.