Parents will know and tell you that if you have a child with a sleep problem it can be very stressful. Adults need their sleep too, and being woken by a child during the night is very wearing. We all have a cycle in sleep of moving between REM (rapid eye movement) light sleep when we are dreaming, and NREM (non rapid eye movement) which is a deep sleep. It is during the REM stage that we or a child is most likely to wake up. Read on to find out more about children and sleep problems.
How much sleep for children?
Children of school age will need between 9 and 12 hours of sleep a night. To make sure your child is getting enough sleep, check that he or she is able to fall asleep easily, wake up easily and not be tired during the day. With so many distractions in this modern electronic era, children are likely to be hooked on computer games, TV, social media and text messages. All of these can keep a young person occupied and can make it difficult for them to sleep. If a child has these things in their bedroom, it is going to make sleep even more difficult.
Help sleep problems in children
Bedtime should not be seen as a punishment but rather as a special time. It’s a time for parents to interact with children in a way that is loving and secure but always firm. Take time to be with your child. Read a book or tell a nice story to them so they can unwind and share this special moment with you. This really is a good time to build a strong bond with your child.
Keep to a regular schedule of going to bed, meal times and play times. Any disruption to a child’s regular routine can cause a problem for them getting to sleep. If the evenings are very light, use darker curtains to block out the light and the same for those lighter early mornings. A child needs plenty of exercise and fresh air which will create a natural tendency to want to sleep at night. If you suspect that there may be medical reasons why your child is not sleeping do consult a doctor.
If all the best advice on getting your child to sleep has failed, seek expert advice and find out why this is so. It’s good to remember that children are not small adults. They are growing and need more sleep than adults do. Parents can unwittingly create sleep problems in children, so more research and advice on this subject will be helpful. Penrose Products offer a range of duvets and pillows that can make sleeping better, so please take a look as these may help with sleep problems with your child, for example, those caused by incorrect sleep temperature and discomfort.