How to Help Your Child get the Sleep they Need
With the school year well on its way, children must now return to a regular sleep schedule in order to tackle the day and get up bright and early for school. After a long Summer of kids and teenagers staying up all night watching TV and playing video games, children must now abandon their Summer sleep schedule in favor of a more responsible lifestyle that will allow them to grow and achieve all they can. Sleep is vital for everyone, but this is especially true for children. Without enough quality sleep children are more likely to develop health and behavioral problems as well as difficulty learning and paying attention.
The most important factor in helping your child get to sleep is having them keep a regular sleep schedule. What many parents do not realize is that teenagers are biologically wired to fall asleep later than adults do as well as wake up later. Unfortunately, school districts are run by adults who are too old to remember what it was like to be a teenager, and as a result schools tend to start earlier, oftentimes forcing teenagers to work against biology. To mitigate this, having your child go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time on a regular basis will train their body to get used to waking up and going to sleep at those times. This will make waking and falling asleep gradually easier and easier.
Other ways to help your children sleep is limiting their screen time before bed. Blue light that is emitted by all our screens can disrupt sleep patterns and keep you awake. A good rule of thumb is to have all screens off two hours before you want your child to be asleep. A convenient way to do this is to use that extra time they would be watching tv or on their phones to instead get ready for bed or lay their clothes out for the next day. Other methods may include limiting your child's caffeine intake, limiting naps that they take throughout the day so they are more tired at night when it is time to sleep. Exercising is not only important for your child’s mental and physical health, but exercising also aids in maintaining a healthy sleep cycle. Children these days, especially teenagers persevere through so much stress and anxiety it might also help to talk with your child about their daily schedule to see where changes can be made to help with their sleep. Lastly, make sure your child's environment is conducive to sleep. Such as lowering the volume on your tv after your child goes to bed to not wake them up, using a white noise machine or getting black out curtains to help children who cannot sleep unless it is completely dark. Doing these simple things can make a world of difference for any child who is struggling to get out of bed.