A good night’s sleep is very important for all children. It helps your child stay healthy, happy, calm and ready for school or any other activity the next day. Getting ample rest is critical for brain development and it directly influences everyday functioning, performance in school, etc.
Good habits and a set routine will help children feel sleepy and ready for bed at the right time. A well rested child is likely to concentrate more in class and get better grades. It is very important for school going children to get a minimum of eight hours of sleep every day. Studies have shown that sleep is directly proportional to better grades. Children have shown signs of improvement in subjects like maths and science if they sleep on time at night.
Children suffer from restlessness, nightmares and disturbed sleep. Work towards getting your child relaxed before bedtime to reduce the chances of bad dreams and nightmares. In some cases, children may experience severe problems with sleep. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) find it extremely difficult to sleep on time.
Follow these steps to help your child maintain healthy sleeping patterns:
- Make sure your child sleeps early. He needs about 10 – 11 hours of sleep every night. Children are usually tired after school or play time or homework and their bedtime can be early.
- Maintain a bedtime routine to help them wind down. Get them ready for bed at the same time daily, and do not disrupt this routine. An hour before sleeping make them turn the television off or pause all computer games and engage in quiet activities.
- Reading to your child is a lot of fun. Make them read to you when they grow older.
- Talk to them calmly about their day so they sleep stress-free.
- Wake them up at the same time daily. Even during holidays.
- Most children have frequent nightmares. When it happens, go to your child as soon as possible. Reassure your child that nothing will happen. Talk calmly and gently and stay with them till they fall asleep again. If your child has woken up scared you might have to distract them with another activity or make them imagine an alternative to the nightmare.
- Talk to your child about his routine. See if something is bothering him/her that could be causing the nightmares.
- Make sure your child gets enough exercise. This is very important for his general health as well.
- They should listen to relaxing music to help them wind down. Remove all noisy things from your child’s room, and ensure there are no loud sounds when they sleep.
- If your child continues to have disturbed sleep speak to a health professional or a children’s counsellor.
As the saying goes “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” A good night’s sleep will keep your child healthy, active and happy throughout the day. Learning is made easy if the child is well rested, and he has a happier and more fruitful day in school. Remember to follow these steps and your child will wake up fresh and ready for action every day. 🙂
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