A Better Night’s Sleep for Your Child
Most parents can probably relate to the problem of their child continually waking up during the night and not being able to get back to sleep. There are generally three very distinct reasons that cause children to wake up during the night and these tend to vary by age. They key to conquering the problems is being calm and understanding what is causing your child to wake.
- Restless Sleep
- Medical Issues
Generally speaking children don’t wake in the middle of the night just to get your attention. However they may need your help and reassurance to get back to sleep. If you understand what the issue is you should be able to get them off to sleep quickly.
Everyone has bad dreams, whereas adults generally can get over it and get back to sleep again without too much difficulty, children find it a lot harder and they need to learn how to understand and cope with it. Really little children may not really understand what woke them up, and children who are older will understand but will be scared and want to sleep in their parents bed.
This can be caused by not having a good bedtime routine or by being in unfamiliar surroundings, for example on holiday. A good routine is vital to solving this problem. A good bedtime routine will help our kids switch off from the day and relax for sleep. So, music and books can play a key role in this. Reading them a short bedtime story in a relaxing voice will help. Using a night light or dim lamp instead of the main light, and avoiding caffeine or sugar near bedtime should also help.
It is also possible that your child is waking because of a medical issue. Children can suffer from insomnia and sleep apnea just like adults. If your child is complaining of aches or pains or their sleep problems have been going on for a while you should visit your doctor.
Tips to help your children get a better night’s sleep
- Don’t feel like you have to go and check on your child every time you hear a noise, and when you do go and check on them be quiet and don’t turn all the lights on. In fact you might find a flashlight helpful so you can find your way about the house without risking walking them.
- If your child is afraid of the dark then help them learn that nighttime is not scary. Why not go out in your garden and count the stars.
- If your child is afraid of the things that go bump in the night then why not take them on a monster hunt. Switch on all the lights before you read them a story and hunt for monsters to make sure their room is clear.
- If your child takes a lot of naps during the day, some experts believe this can reduce the amount of hours they can sleep at night. So you could try cutting down the length of time they nap during the day.