Raising kids can be tough enough without the sleepless nights to go along with them. For parents who are struggling to get their kids to sleep, though, it’s far more than just tiring—it’s frustrating and stressful as well. If your child isn’t sleeping at night, and you aren’t willing or able to turn to medication to help him do so, there are still ways you can help him fall asleep faster and sleep more restfully at night.
1) Don’t fight it
Sleep deprivation can lead to a host of issues, from depression and anxiety to ADHD. But getting kids to sleep isn’t always easy. Here are some tips for calming your child before bed:
– Dim the lights in the room.
– Turn off TVs, computers, and other electronic devices.
– Read them a book or have them tell you a story about their day or their favorite activities.
– Let them spend some time alone in their room before they go to sleep so they can calm down and wind down on their own.
– Let them choose what pajamas they will wear and what stuffed animal they will take with them into bed.
2) Go with your child’s schedule, not yours
Kids should go to bed at the same time every night. They shouldn’t be going to bed too late and then waking up early for school. This will make for a very long day. If you have a child who needs help sleeping, there are several natural ways you can help them without turning to medication. You can give them warm milk before they go to sleep or get them into a routine where they read before bedtime, which will help their brain relax and prepare for sleep. There are also herbal teas that can help with relaxing your mind and body, like chamomile or lavender tea.
3) Use a sound machine
A sound machine is an excellent option for a child who has a hard time sleeping. Children are often more sensitive to the noise of their environment, and can struggle with getting enough rest. This is especially true in locations where there are high levels of noise pollution. A sound machine emits soothing sounds that help drown out other noises, so your child can sleep easier. While the idea may seem like a gimmick, it is actually very effective for many children and families who find themselves struggling with sleep each night.
4) Encourage natural sleep associations
One way to get your kids to sleep better is by creating a bedtime routine that includes relaxing activities like reading, taking a bath, or listening to calming music. If you want, you can also try giving your child a warm drink (warm milk works well) before bedtime. Another technique is what’s known as controlled crying, which basically entails letting your baby cry for short periods of time and then comforting them when they stop. You may also want to consider using room darkening shades or curtains at night in order to help reduce the amount of light in the room. This can help make it easier for your child’s brain and body tell the difference between being awake or asleep.
5) Establish healthy nighttime rituals
1. Create a bedtime routine for your kids: The more consistency you create in their nighttime routine, the easier it will be for them to fall asleep and stay asleep. Spend time with them before bed, read books together, or tell stories while they’re getting ready for bed.