Any parent knows how crucial it is to get enough sleep, especially when you’re raising a child. We take care of their physical, emotional, and developmental needs, but do we ever consider the impact of not getting enough sleep on a child’s mental well-being?
How Sleep Impacts a Child’s Overall Development
Yearly growth and development are required for children to reach their maximum potential. During their childhood, a child’s brain is rapidly growing and developing. Each night, the brain is replenished with necessary chemicals and hormones that help children learn and process new experiences.
Essential sleep also helps kids form memories and develop cognitive skills. It is easy to see that getting enough sleep at night is critical to a child’s success at school, at home, and in the community.
Positive Sleep Habits You Can Enforce
Don’t worry; here are some positive sleep habits you can do with your child:
Have a Regular & Consistent Bedtime Routine
Create a bedtime routine that is specific to your child’s needs. This can include a warm bath and clean pajamas, or a favorite book and song and can be whatever your child needs to relax and wind down.
Set Up a Safe & Comfortable Sleep Environment
A clean, safe and comfortable environment is essential for a good night’s sleep. If a child’s room is too dark or too bright, noise levels are high, or there are too many distractions or obstacles, they won’t get the rest they need. No TVs, computers, or electronic devices should be in the bedroom.
Have Regular Physical Activity Schedule
Children should be encouraged to be active and have an active lifestyle. Physical activity allows children to release pent-up energy and helps them manage stress.
Avoid Food and Beverages before Bed
It may be tempting to give your child milk before bed, but milk contains tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter released when your body is ready for sleep. Milk will actually delay the onset of sleep by blocking the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps promote sleep.
Avoid Strict Sleeping Habits
A strict routine may seem like an efficient method to get your child to sleep, but it can cause serious problems. Sticking to the same schedule and being rigid while doing it can make children anxious and uncomfortable, not to mention it’s exhausting. Be flexible in your approach and focus on having a structure that works best for your child.
Make Sleep a Priority
Parents can teach children that sleep is a priority, a necessity, and a part of everyone’s daily routine. Children will learn that a good night’s sleep is very important and can help them be more successful throughout the school day and other activities in their daily and social lives.
Quality Sleep for Your Child
As a parent, you can greatly impact your child’s sleep habits. By creating positive sleep habits, your children will be able to enjoy happy, healthy, safe, and successful lives as they grow up. It’s never too early to start teaching your child how important sleep is, so they can give it their all in school and their adult life.
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