It’s bad enough trying to get a newborn baby to sleep, let alone when they’re older and more resilient. The tricks you may have used when they were babies may not work anymore and if they’ve gotten into a habit of staying awake, or waking in the middle of the night for no apparent reason, it can be difficult to get them out of the habit and back to normal.
It’s recommended that between the ages of 5 and 11, a child needs between 10 and 12 hours of sleep a night, which can prove to be quite difficult if they’re reluctant to go to bed. Here are some tips that may help establish good sleeping patterns.
|Mr A in his pyjamas before bedtime|
Use a routine
Devise a routine that is regular. A 30 minute routine that includes a bath, pyjamas and a story can help to relax them and prepare them for sleep. Having a warm bath can help to soothe them, no matter how old they are, while getting ready into snug sleepwear will help to ensure they’re comfortable. You can find some great value George boy’s dressing gowns, pyjamas and slippers online and in store, so that they’re nice and cosy, ready for a restful sleep.
Use blackout curtains
While the winter months don’t pose much of a problem, as summer draws nearer and the nights get lighter, it may be difficult for children to drift off to sleep. It may be tempting to change their bedtime so that they go to bed when it’s darker outside, but try to avoid this. Instead, invest in some good quality blackout curtains so that they know it’s bedtime, no matter how light it is outside.
Avoid electronics in the bedroom
If they have access to a TV, games console or DVD player in their bedroom, they’ll be tempted to use them after lights out. This can mean that, despite going to bed, they’re not getting as much sleep as they need and will likely be irritable in the mornings. Teach them that games and the television are not to be used at bedtime and limit the usage of them before bed, too.
Avoid caffeine products
As children grow, they will be more tempted to drink caffeine products, such as energy drinks or popular fizzy drinks. They shouldn’t have the need to drink these at all, and if you find they are inclined to drink them during the morning walk to school, or during the day, it’s likely to be because their sleep patterns are disrupted. Avoid caffeine products and they will be able to settle to sleep easier, too.
|Beautiful child's bedroom (image via Pinterest)|
Make their room conducive to sleep
Make sure that their room is dark and quiet, without anything that could tempt them away from bed. Reward good behaviour and try and keep things such as mobile phones out of their room so that they won’t be tempted to stay up chatting to their mates.
It can be difficult to encourage older kids to stick to a regular bedtime, especially when those around them may have more lenient rules. However, sleep really does matter, and if you can stick to a routine (no matter how reluctant they are), they’ll be happy, healthy and well-rested.
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