As if parenting young children weren’t already chaotic enough, having a quiet evening, especially after a long day’s work, can become even more elusive when they struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep. Just as you settle into the couch, with a TV remote in hand, your hard-earned quiet time gets cut short by a persistent little voice emerging from the background – “Mommy/Daddy, I can’t sleep!”
If this has become an all-too-familiar situation in your household, you want to do something to get your child to sleep peacefully through the night, so you can enjoy some blissful solitude. Let the tips below help you.
Tip #1: Make Sleeping a Family Priority.
Everyone at home needs to get a proper amount of sleep at night to ensure optimal health and functioning. You can achieve this by setting a wind-down and wake-up time for the household. It’s important to have everyone stick to your routine — even on weekends.
Tip #2 Establish a Consistent Bedtime Routine.
Having a consistent sleep schedule plays a big role in helping children go to bed on time and encouraging healthy sleep hygiene. Discuss a time that you can all agree on and stick to. If you’re starting a new sleep schedule, explain it to your child. Involve them by letting them help plan or by creating a picture chart to familiarize them with the routine.
Each child’s bedtime routine will vary, depending on their individual needs. Yours can include a bath and brushing teeth, listening to gentle music, or reading storybooks in bed. You could chat about what happened during the day and the plans you have for tomorrow. Add elements to your bedtime routine that will help relax and comfort your child. Just make sure to keep your routine short and easy to do.
Tip #3 Create a Sleep-Conducive Environment.
Turn off all gadgets, especially those that emit blue light, at least two hours before bedtime. Studies show that blue light affects when and how well people sleep by suppressing the body’s release of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep cycle.
Additionally, your child’s bedroom should be cool and comfortable. Check if there is anything else that can distract your child, like noises from outside. If your child prefers to have a nightlight, choose one with a warm light. It also helps to tuck your child in with their favorite stuffed toy.
Tip #4: Talk to Your Pediatrician.
If you have established a good bedtime routine for your child, but without success; or if you find that your child’s sleep is affecting how they function during the day, take heed, as this could signify an underlying problem, particularly a sleep disorder. Make sure to talk to your pediatrician about this. Such is crucial for ensuring that your child is properly evaluated and that they receive appropriate care.
Reliable Pediatrician in Wayne County, OH
If you’re searching for a pediatrician in Wooster, Ohio to help you with your child’s sleep problems, visit us here at Wooster Community Hospital. Our team includes a board-certified pediatrician, Dr. Melissa Burgett, who is best known for her expertise and nurturing approach to care. You can trust Dr. Burgett to point your child to the right intervention, so they can sleep well and do what they love most – being a child!