Sleep is essential in maintaining a healthy life, especially for kids. Toddlers need as much as 14 hours of sleep for improved overall growth and well-being. Fortunately, there are simple changes you can do with your kids routine for better sleep. And bath time, meals and the kid’s bed are some of the important factors to consider. Read on to know more about them.

The Importance of Sleep in Children

The effects of sleep deprivation are more pronounced in children than in adults. Children ages 3 to 7 who don’t get proper sleep may have problems with attention, emotional control, and peer to peer relationships. Some kids even feel depressed or anxious when they don’t get enough sleep. 

Proper sleep promotes growth. As you know, growth hormones are released during sleep. Sleep also reduces the risk of heart problems, obesity, diabetes etc. and also improves memory and attention. Having enough sleep boosts overall mental and physical health.

Thankfully changes can be made to the living environment and bedtime routine to help your child sleep better. With these, many sleep problems can be lessened, if not completely resolved. 

  • No Heavy Meals Before Bed

Avoid feeding them too close to bedtime, especially sugary treats or fizzy drinks. Refined sugar and caffeine also upset their sleep routine. If possible, let them eat two hours before going to bed. If your child needs a snack, go for something nutritious like mixed nuts. And always remind them to drink enough water.

  • Take the Electronics Out of Their Room

Our bodies have an internal clock that knows when it’s time to go to bed or when it’s time to wake up. This process is called the circadian rhythm, and keeping it in sync is essential for sleep. Our internal clocks take cues from our environment. For instance, it is sensitive to blue light emitted from screens like mobile phones. Make sure your children avoid screens from an hour before going to bed. 

  • Essential Bath Time

Take your children to a hot bath an hour before going to bed. After a hot bath, the body temperature gradually drops, releasing sleep hormones.

  • Darkness is Your Friend

Circadian rhythms are influenced by light and darkness. It’s because your body works according to the sun, and hence you get tired when it gets dark. Use blackout blinds to ensure darkness throughout the night. The rule is, if you can read a book, the room is too bright.

  • Invest in an Inviting Bed

Your child’s bed should be used only for sleeping and not for homework or screen time. Also, make sure your kid’s bed has a good quality mattress since they are a significant factor when it comes to sleep quality. Ninety-two per cent of people say they need a good quality mattress for a good night’s sleep. True enough, when we spend one-third of our life sleeping. 

Children’s bone systems are developing dynamically until their teenage years. Having a good mattress helps prevent musculoskeletal disorders. While purchasing one, consider its filling, durability, and care instructions. 

  • Stick to the Routine

Make sure your children sleep and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. If possible, get natural light within minutes of waking up. Do this in the same order, and your child will have a better sleep in the days (or nights) to come.