When you have a child who is struggling to get to sleep, it’s not only them that you should be worried about: you’re also faced with your own sleep being disturbed, which means both you and your child will be suffering the consequences of a bad night’s sleep and lack of good rest. Trying to get your child to enjoy a better night’s sleep – whether it’s as a result of their own determination to stubbornly stay awake or whether they genuinely keep tossing and turning – can be a lot of trial and error, but there are many ways you can give your household the best chance of a peaceful night – every night.
What Happens When Your Child Doesn’t Get Enough Sleep?
When your child isn’t getting the hours of sleep that they need, this may affect their development, concentration, and focus. It can also affect their mood if they’re more tired, cranky, and irritable. It may also mean that they don’t perform as well in school if they’re constantly tired, and they may also lose focus and enjoyment during their downtime with hobbies that are key for their development.
How Much Sleep Should Your Child Be Getting?
This will depend on the age range of your child, but a good general rule for toddlers and up is at least 10 hours a night. If your child is not getting this amount of sleep, then it is time to learn some handy hacks for helping your child get a better night’s sleep.
Hack #1: Make the Bed as Comfortable as Possible
All adults will know that if your mattress isn’t the right firmness and your bed isn’t inviting, a good night’s sleep can definitely be a struggle, and this applies to children, too.
For a child’s bed, it’s about more than just the practicalities and comfort, too. The bed needs to be inviting and enjoyable for them, such as decorated in their favorite theme (fairytales, outer space, or their favorite cartoon character) and also have their desired items in easy reach, such as room for teddies in the bed or a night-stand with a book they might enjoy.
Comfort also extends beyond the bed, as nightwear is crucial, too. You don’t want your child to be wearing old and worn pajamas which are uncomfortable or itchy. Shop around for the best quality, such as the options from ericawilson.com.
Hack #2: Lighting is Extremely Important
This counts for both natural light sources and artificial lighting.
For natural light, you need to think about whether early sunrises, such as during summer, are going to disturb your child’s rest and wake them up early. Likewise, if it’s still light when they go to bed, is this going to keep them awake? You should have blackout options for any windows to ensure the room can stay light-controlled.
For artificial lighting, check whether your child would benefit from a nightlight to soothe them to sleep and help them feel safe – or if a nightlight is, in fact, distracting for them and they would prefer the dark.
Hack #3: Think About Room Positioning
This can be difficult if you’re short on space and rooms, but your child’s chosen room in relativity to the rest of the house will affect their night’s sleep. If their room is beside the bathroom, for example, which might see a lot of activity from other members of the house after they have gone to bed, this can be a disturbance. Try to choose a spot where they’ll get maximum peace, and think about trying to be quieter/closing doors and windows after they’ve gone to bed.