When it comes to helping pre-schoolers, babies and toddlers get better sleep, this is our specialty. With that said, we also help kids that are as old as 10 years old with their sleep. Children absolutely need good quality sleep, especially when they have to deal with a lot of demands throughout the week such as school, physical activities, social activities etc. So, when a child has sleep deprivation, this will negatively affect their overall behavior as well as what they can achieve.
Panorama actually did a study in 2017 where children of school age were allowed to sleep for an extra hour every night for the period of a week. The results of this study showed that a simple sleep increase of one hour drastically improved their ability to problem solve by 66%, increased focus and attention by 44% and even increased memory by 57%.
So, we will now take a look at how you can help kids to get better sleep.
Be aware of the sleep requirements of your child: So, the sleep requirements of a child that is between 3 to 5 years old is 10 to 13 hours every night. Kids that are between 6 and 10 years old require between 9 to 11 hours of sleep. It is best to consider the time that they have to wake up and then work backwards from that time to figure out their bed time. So, if you have a 7 year old kid that has to wake up at 7 am and needs 10.5 hours of sleep, then they should be in bed by 8:30pm. Of course, keep in mind that there would be some 7 year olds that would need more or less sleep since this varies according to individuals.
Create a bedtime routine that is consistent: You should definitely have a set bedtime routine, no matter how old your child is. If you have children that are going to school, make sure to give them about 20 minutes of quiet time where they can color, draw, do arts and craft etc. This is a good way to improve relaxation for bedtime. You should also consider giving them a bedtime snack. Another way to help children relax is to give them a bath before bed. After this has been completed and they are in bed, you can read a bedtime story or even do a relaxation exercise to finish off your bedtime routine. Keep in mind that this entire process should only take about an hour or less.
The sleeping environment should be conducive to sleep: Ensure that you keep the bedroom as dark as can be since this will increase the production of melatonin in your child which is a hormone that assists with sleep. You should ensure that there aren’t distractions and the bedroom should be calm and quiet. Make sure that you adjust the temperature so that the room isn’t too warm or too cold. The mattress should be both comfortable and supportive, find out why DreamCloud are amazing.
Take off all screens: The light from devices and screens negatively impacts the body during the bedtime by reducing melatonin production. Therefore, make sure that you take off all devices and screens at least 1 or 2 hours before bed.
Spend time outdoors and get enough exercise: It is important that your child spends sufficient time outdoors doing physical activities every day. The sunlight is very beneficial to regulating the sleep cycle and exercise as well as fresh air is also great for the body and good quality sleep at night.
Make sure they don’t eat sugary food or caffeine before bed: Remember that caffeine and sugar are very stimulating and they can keep your child up at night. So, make sure that you don’t give them any sugary or caffeinated foods or drinks before bed. For example, chocolate, hot chocolate drinks etc. These should be given earlier in the day.
Pay attention to hints of a sleep disorder: Kids should typically wake up in the morning mostly on their own without much help from a parent. However, if they have had at least 10 hours of sleep and they are having problems waking up and are exhausted throughout the day, then this may mean that they have a sleep disorder.
In the event that your kid has problems sleeping, then be sure to contact us. We work with a wide range of children and can certainly help them to get better sleep.