Many children often struggle to fall asleep, and as a result, do not get adequate rest. It leaves them low on energy, moody, and irritated all through the day. When children cannot sleep, they also keep their parents awake. It also results in improper behavior in school and during social activities.
Constant lack of sleep also reduces their ability to focus and concentrate on what they are doing. It reduces their chances of success, which can have detrimental effects on their confidence levels. Studies have also shown that lack of proper sleep can result in panic attacks amongst children.
Therefore adequate sleep at night is very essential for the mental and physical growth of your child. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the natural ways by which you can ensure that your child sleeps peacefully at night.
Use a Weighted Blanket
The use of weighted blankets has become a trend these days with adults and children alike. More and more people are getting to know about the advantages of using a weighted blanket at night.
But very few people are aware of the origins of those benefits. Therapists used weighted blankets to soothe children who had autism, ADHD, and sensory processing disorders. That is why it is one of the most effective ways to ensure that your child can get enough sleep naturally. Sometimes you may be doing everything that you need to ensure that your child sleeps peacefully at night, and yet fail at it. That is because the problem is not on the surface but embedded deep in his brain, which makes it impossible for him or her to calm down.
Weighted blankets are designed to solve those issues to ensure that your child can relax and fall into a deep sleep. They induce a gentle and deep pressure on their nervous system that helps their mind stabilize and calm down. The Deep Touch Pressure therapy stimulated by the blanket stimulates the feeling of being hugged tight, which makes them feel safe and secure, thus reducing their “fight or flight” instincts.
Many parents feel concerned about choosing the right weight for their child. Most therapists suggest a 5 lb weighted blanket for kids who are 3 years old and above. The standard size is adequate for children till they reach their teens, when they can switch to an intermediate weight or use an adult blanket, depending on their body weight.
Exercise and Nutrition
If your child has difficulty sleeping at night, make sure that you may exercise and nutrition a priority in your household. Children usually have more energy than adults, so if it does not get spent during the day, a kid will not be able to sleep at night. Make sure that your child gets enough opportunity to run around and play. If your child is not outdoorsy, you can get him to indulge in indoor sports or exercises.
Nutrition not only plays an essential role in your child’s growth, but it also affects your child’s sleep. Avoid feeding too much junk food and sodas to your child. Junk food can create problems with digestion, and sodas contain too much sugar and caffeine. Both of these factors can prevent your child from falling asleep and result in inadequate sleep.
Set up a Schedule
Once your child is back from school, make a schedule for his or her activities, and ensure that they stick to it. Assign the time limits for their homework, playtime, meals, TV, bedtime, and any other activities. While you can be slightly flexible for the other activities, make sure you stick to the bedtime every day, including weekends. The regular routine will adjust their body clocks and make them feel sleepy on time.
Read a Bedtime Story
Reading a bedtime story is not only about the storytelling session. It also makes children feel safe and secure with their parents next to them while they fall asleep. If a child does not feel safe while falling asleep, he or she may feel scared of imaginary things at night or have nightmares. You can also place objects in your child’s room that will make him, or her feel safe at night. If your child has sensitive hearing, you can use white noise or sounds of nature. These sounds will drown noises from the house or neighborhood that can wake up your child at night.
For a child who is sensitive to light, you can place blackout curtains in the room. The curtains will ensure that your child is not disturbed by incoming light from the windows.
While we understand that your child’s sleep is important for you, we urge you not to resort to unnatural or chemical ways to make your child fall asleep unless it is prescribed by a licensed doctor. You may need some patience with the natural methods, but rest assured that they will have long term benefits that will outweigh the other methods.