As a parent, we’ve all experienced what happens when a child is overly tired. The tantrums, irritability, erratic behavior and worst of all, the inability to fall asleep because they are too tired. Tired brains can bring out challenging behavior in children which can make it extremely difficult for them and you at bedtime. When children are overly tired they produce more cortisol which in turn makes them hyper. With an excess for cortisol in their systems, children are more prone to frequent night wakings, earlier wake ups, and short or broken naps. Setting up Sleep Goals for your family can help get your children into healthy sleep habits that will last a lifetime.
Why is Sleep so Important For Children?
There are numerous factors that can contribute to poor sleep. Some of those reasons could be:
- They're too wired up at bedtime to fall asleep
- Anxiety over a situation occurring in your family
- Sleeping on a bed that doesn't have a comfortable kid mattress designed for restful sleep
- Resisting sleep because they know you're still awake
A brain that's well-rested can learn new things, be creative, concentrate on tasks longer, and have more motivation to seek out and maintain friendships. Well-rested children are less likely to have anxiety and depression, and they're able to problem-solve some of their own challenges. Plus, their bodies are more equipped to fight off the nasty bugs and viruses that are prevalent in daycares and schools.
Tips For Setting Sleep Goals For Your Children
Both the AASM and the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommend that you set up some sleep goals for your child, so they can get into a routine each day. Their bodies will become used to the habits being formed and your child will get automatically tired at designated rest times. Here are some tips for creating those goals:
Be an example
Your children look up to you and will follow your example. If you're not trying to stick to a sleep schedule yourself, they will follow suit and resist sleep as well. While you don't have to go to bed at the same time as them, let them know that you set a bedtime for yourself and you're sticking to it.
Turn off Technology
Make sure you have established clear rules around using technology, especially after the sun goes down. Looking at tablets, phones and other screens delays our body’s internal clock (a.k.a., your circadian rhythm), and suppresses the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Sleep experts recommend shutting off screens up to two hours before bed. Whatever time your Sleep Goal is, make sure your child has ample time without a screen before the bedtime routine begins. Try making it a Sleep Goal to read old fashioned books with your child before bed. It’s not only a perfect time for extra cuddles but will most likely help your child wind down and prepare for sleep.
Keep the same daily schedules
Try to perform their daily routines at approximately the same time each day. Kids thrive with structure so activities like mealtimes, bath time, and bedtime, should be done at the same time everyday. Also your child’s body will become accustomed to the routine, making it easier to get them to sleep at the same time every night. Interferences with this routine will occur due to ever changing life events , but try to get your child back on track as soon as possible. The more they know what's coming and when, the less resistance you'll have at bedtime, in most cases.
Consult your doctor
If your child experiences problems sleeping, despite everything you've tried, consult your doctor. They can discover if a medical approach needs to be taken and address it. Or, they can suggest other non-invasive methods that could help.
Offer them a good night's sleep
Provide a comfortable environment for your child to sleep in. Most parents try to accomplish this , but one key piece to the sleeping success puzzle is often overlooked, and that's the mattress they sleep on. Offer them a good night's sleep with a 5 Little Monkeys mattress that's soft enough to emulate sleeping on a cloud but also firm enough to provide adequate support. 5 Little Monkeys kids’ mattresses are thoughtfully designed to address your child’s sleep needs because our mattresses balance body temperature, contour and cradle for the ultimate sleep experience.
Steer your child’s sleeping needs in a more positive direction by setting up a sleep schedule they can easily get used to. Invest in the best kids mattress that will not only last you a long time but will encourage a good night's sleep, so they're ready to take on the world the next day. For more information, contact us with any questions you may have.