How to Improve Your Child's Sleeping Habits – Tips from A Mattress Specialist
Two thing that kids need the most to grow is food and sleep. Sleep is vital to making sure that your child grows strong and healthy. Sleeping well is also important for performing better in school.
Sleep Has Some Important Benefits
How exactly does sleep help your child grow? Apart from allowing their body to rest and recharge like it does for adults, sleep is good for children because it encourages the secretion of their growth hormone.
Sleep also aids in the production of proteins called cytokines in the body. This is responsible for helping fight off any illness, infection or even stress.
One study has also found that sleep helps boost a child's ability to learn. That's because, with enough sleep, they have a better attention span and are able to remember their lessons better. The consequences of children not getting any sleep can be quite troublesome. They tend to be more impulsive and clumsy. One study done found that 91 percent of kids who had two or more injuries during a 12-month period actually slept fewer than nine hours each night.
For all these reasons, it's really important to make sure that your children get enough sleep each night. In case this has become a bit of a challenge for you, here are some useful sleep tips from a mattress specialist to help you get your child to sleep soundly:
Be Mindful of Your Child's Growth When Choosing the Bed Size
Often, parents expect a bed to last their children 10 years or even more. If this is the case, you need to think if getting a twin bed even a full size is really a better option than a queen size one. The bed should be spacious enough so that even when your child grows, they will still be comfortable. Also, children tend to move around a lot while they are sleeping so it may actually be a safer option to choose a bigger bed size.
Pick Out the Perfect Mattress for Your Child
Your growing child might not be comfortable sleeping on a mattress that's too firm. Instead, opt for a plusher mattress that provides a bit more support and cushion. You may want to consider a waterproof side or cover around it.
Establish a Regular Sleep Pattern
Once you're sure that you've got the right bed size and mattress, it's time to establish your child's sleep pattern. That means having a set bedtime every night. You can choose to vary bedtime for non-school nights but it should only be for an hour later than their school night bedtime. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a child aged three to five years should get around 11 to 13 hours of sleep. Meanwhile, a child between the ages of five and 12 should sleep for around 10 to 11 hours. Keep these in mind when setting the bedtime to ensure that your child sleeps the right number of hours every day.
Have a Consistent Bedtime Routine
Coming up with a bedtime routine for your child makes it easier for them to know when it's time to go to bed. The routine can include reading a book and/or taking a bath. The key here is to always be consistent. Moreover, avoid letting them play active games just before bed as it makes falling asleep much harder. It's also a good idea to put gadgets like cell phones and tablets away so that they will not be tempted to stay awake.
Consider Serving a Snack Before Bedtime
It may be difficult for your child to sleep on an empty stomach so you might want to consider giving them a light snack. Interestingly, there are actually certain food combinations that may help your children fall asleep. That's because food combos that mix protein and carbs form certain amino acids that seem to act like tryptophan, the chemical that makes you sleepy after a heavy dinner. Try serving toast with peanut butter or oatmeal with milk. Other foods that also serve as a good sleeping aid include eggs, tuna, bananas, yogurt and cheese.
Keep these tips in mind to help your child sleep better every night. For young children, it’s important to make sure they don’t view being sent to bed as a punishment. This is where the regular and consistent routine helps them associate sleep time as something positive.
The 7 Reasons Your Kid Needs Sleep, parents.com
Sleep Tips for Children, sleephealthfoundation.org.au
6 ways to help your child get a good night's sleep, todaysparent.com8 Tips to Improve Your Child's Sleep, psychologytoday.com