This is a guest post.
There’s nothing worse than a bad night’s sleep. While a lack of sleeping is something that comes as part of the parenting package, it’s not something that should happen all the time – especially as your child gets older. If your child is struggling to sleep at night, there are some things you can try to help them, that will help you get a better night’s sleep as well. Take a look at the following tips for helping your child to sleep better at night.
Make sure their room is built for sleep
A kid’s bedroom will often be multi-purpose – somewhere for them to sleep but also somewhere for them to play. It’s important that you try to design the room so that it encourages sleep where needed. Storage solutions for putting away toys can help, as can having the right bed, lighting, and bedding. If you can’t get to sleep in a messy room – how can you expect your child to?
If your child is struggling to sleep at night, assess their bedroom to see if you can make some changes to the temperature or lighting and then assess their bed. If their bed appears uncomfortable or damaged, it might be time to replace it. Look for beds and cots that are sturdy but comfortable and think about getting a new mattress – especially if yours wasn’t new when you got it. Having the right sleeping environment can make all the difference, and some simple adjustments could be all it takes to help them get to sleep at night.
Feed them for sleep
That feeling of wanting to go to sleep after a big meal (think Christmas dinner) isn’t just psychological; it’s chemical. Foods that contain both protein and carbs like porridge, peanut butter on toast and even bananas contain tryptophan, a type of amino acid that makes you sleepy. Give them a light snack before bed that will help them to drift off, and avoid giving them sugar or soft drinks after dinner.
Try not to give them too much to drink before bed, that’s when the bed wetting and late night wake-up calls start!
Get them moving
Kids who have been active during the day will find it easier to sleep at night. Making sure that your child does exercise is important for their health, and sleep is just one of the many benefits. There are plenty of forms of exercise your child can do, so try and find an activity they enjoy and encourage them to get moving. Regular exercise will help to tire them out at the end of the day, giving them a more restful sleep.
Take technology away
We’re surrounded by gadgets all the time, but they’re not great for helping us sleep. Mobile phones, TVs, and tablets can have a poor effect on children’s sleep – so try to limit their use before bedtime. You were able to function without a screen in front of you, and so can they. Go back to basics with a bedtime story, and they’ll fall asleep much easier at night.
Parenting isn’t always a breeze, and too many late nights can take their toll on your sanity. For their sake, and yours, help your child to get a better night’s sleep so that you can all avoid turning into zombies and function like normal human beings – whatever your normal may be!