Who wants their child falling asleep in class? Who struggles with their child and bedtime? We all go through it as parents and guardians. Our kids have been on a summer schedule and now it’s time to get back into the school routine. They have stayed up a little later because it’s summer, and getting them to get to bed earlier is a fight. They need their sleep to learn, and, it is important to their health.
How can I get my child to start going to bed earlier? Try a few of these tips.
- Go to bed 30 min to 45 min earlier each night. (this will depend on your target bedtime) If your child has had the freedom to stay up much later than his/her bedtime, it will take longer for this process. If their bedtime is 9pm, but has been going to bed at 12am, there is an adjustment to be made.
- Stop your child from using electronic devices 30 min to 1 hour before bedtime. This is hard for the gamer kids. It’s their hobby and what they love to do, however, it is keeping their brain stimulated and keeping them from much needed sleep.
- If your child is old enough to have a cell phone, set a time that you are going to take it from him/her. Certain kids that have anxiety “escape” with their phones to try to feel less anxious by watching videos or playing games on their phones. This helps them to not think about the next day. It’s a coping mechanism. Try to find something else that works. Relaxing noises, aroma therapy, and stress balls can be helpful tools.
- Limit things that your child eats or drinks before bedtime. For example, caffeine and sugar will make it very hard for your child to fall asleep.
So how much sleep should my child be getting? That depends on their age. The following has been recommended by the pediatric sleep community.
- Children age three-five years need 11 to 13 hours of sleep
- Children age six-ten years need 10-11 hours of sleep
- Adolescents age eleven-seventeen need 8 ½-9 ½ hours of sleep
There are a few signs to look for that is a result of lack of sleep.
- Difficulty waking up in the morning
- Hyperactivity and difficult concentrating
- Napping or falling asleep in class or during the day
- Excessive temper tantrums, crankiness, no patience, defiant, extra sensitive
- Increased appetite
- Clumsiness and forgetfulness
These are a few signs; however, this is not the full list.
Of course, every child is different. If your child isn’t getting the recommended amount of sleep doesn’t make you a horrible parent. Kids, like adults, have problems sleeping for many reasons such as stress, they don’t feel well, they are having a hard time winding down.
Consistency will play a key role in successfully regulating your children’s sleeping habits. Make a bedtime rule, and stick to it. Your kiddo will do better in school, play better in sports, boost his/her metabolism and have a better attitude. It’s hard to be the best you can be, when you are overly tired.