Sleep deprivation was 1 of the items that concerned me most about becoming a parent. After my daughter’s very first handful of months, I figured that we had been previous that phase. Incorrect! A lot of little ones appear to go by way of phases exactly where sleep patterns alter. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 restrictions are wreaking havoc on the routines and activities that we—and little ones especially—need to thrive. Too considerably screen time and as well tiny physical physical exercise are important contributions to difficulty falling asleep. Throw in some inadvertent viewing of some thing scary and the basic anxiousness that is permeating our society ideal now, and we have the fantastic recipe for sleep issues.
Tips for Improving Sleep Hygiene
So, what to do about it? Falling asleep is a ability that can be discovered (and re-discovered) as little ones develop and create. Here are some tips for enhancing sleep hygiene for little ones of any age:
- Try to maintain bedtimes and wake occasions constant.
- Eliminate screens 1 hour prior to bed. Instead, take a stroll, play a board game, or study.
- After having prepared for bed, opt for an activity in bed for 15-20 minutes that will enable you loosen up. This could be reading, listening to soft music, mindful meditation or prayer. Soon you will associate this activity with having prepared to fall asleep.
- At lights out when feeling drowsy, recognize a cue to associate with closing your eyes and falling asleep. It could be having tucked in by a parent or snuggling into most comfy position.
Consistency is Key for Bedtime Routines
It requires practice to find out a new sleep routine, but it is feasible. With young kids, I actually have them act out the methods to make certain they realize the routine. Parents will probably need to have to reward children’s efforts to stick to this routine and to keep in bed (unless it is an emergency). Kids also at times need to have to practice what to do to fall back to sleep, such as cuddling with a stuffed animal for a handful of minutes alternatively of reflexively going into parents’ space.
If your kid is struggling with sleep issues, speak to your pediatrician for more guidance. In addition to bedtime fears and anxious rumination, there are a entire host of underlying sleep concerns, like Restless Leg Syndrome and Obstructive Sleep Apnea that can contribute to your child—and you—not having the very good night’s sleep you deserve.