World Sleep Day: 7 simple habits to ensure that your child has a good night’s sleep

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Having a proper sleep schedule is important to ensure that your child has better sleep quality, good health and wakes up feeling fresh every morning

Today is World Sleep Day and a shocking survey has revealed that one in every five people across the world is sleep deprived owing to reasons ranging from lifestyle, odd working hours and personal obligations.

The survey, conducted by Curofy - India’s largest community of verified doctors - was part of an effort to raise awareness about sleep disorders. "There is a large population suffering from sleep disorder and our agenda was to showcase these numbers and spread awareness about the bad effects of taking sleeping pills," said Dr Pawan Gupta, co-founder, Curofy.

The poll found that due to frequent sleep disorders, which can also be triggered by anxiety, tension and nervousness developed due to work pressure, household issues or personal relationships, people start taking sleeping pills for getting a sound sleep.

The Gift Of 'Simply Sleep'

Parenting guru Swati Podar Vats, President of Podar Education Trust and the President of Early Childhood Education Society of India, puts it very beautifully on her blog, emphasising on the fact that why it if important for parents to give their kids the “Gift of Sleep”.

“It’s time to go to bed,’ was what traditional parents would say, and then the mother or father would bathe the child (a warm water bath helps relax muscles and relaxed children sleep faster) while talking to the child  about his/her day (bonding time with the parents helps the child develop positive self esteem)  put on fresh night clothes for the child, (fresh clothes help children relax, and helps the skin breathe) tuck him in bed, read him a story or sing him a lullaby and then as the child’s eyes slowly drooped shut, the parent would kiss them on the forehead, whisper complementary sentences like, my sweet girl, my brave boy, my good child etc (positive motivation just before bed time helps work on the child’s confidence and self esteem) and leave the child to sleep peacefully at nine o’clock at night! Sounds like a fantasy right?"

"Do gift your child this fantasy instead of the horror of being told to ‘Go brush your teeth, while I watch this important serial’, ‘Now go and wear your pyjamas and come and sit with me on the sofa while I watch my favourite serial’ and then the child falls asleep on the sofa with a television set shrilling away violent dialogues or gory war images or sobs of soap heroines."

7 habits to ensure your child has better sleep every night

"Brain research says that sleep time is when the brain organises information collected in the daytime. When the child’s brain does not get enough sleep then the child can suffer from inability to retain facts, get confused, forget information easily and chronic sleep deprivation also leads to irritability violence and inattentiveness, " adds Ms Vats on her blog.

Having a proper sleep schedule is important to ensure that your child has better sleep quality, good health and wakes up feeling fresh every morning.

Here are 7 habits that might help you inculcate a sleep schedule.

#1 Say No To TV

While watching TV for long hours in general is not advisable, late night TV is a strict no-no for kids. A recent study points out that watching too much television can change the structure of a child's brain in a damaging way. Researchers found that the more time a child spent viewing TV, the more profound the brain alterations appeared to be.

#2 Early Dinner

While this is something that many Indian families don’t adhere to, to ensure that your child has better sleep quality it is important that he has an early dinner. Eating too late tends to raise metabolic rate and increases energy in kids.

To ensure a good night's sleep, avoid eating dinner at least three hours before your child's bedtime. Include a variety of foods from all of the food groups, and make sure your child gets enough calcium - low levels of calcium can cause irritability and nervousness.

#3 Establish a bedtime routine

Establishing a bedtime routine by inculcating habits such as reading and story-telling to help reduce your child’s exposure to activities that make him restless. You can also give him a warm bath or offer him some warm milk before bedtime to help him sleep better.

#4 Make your child’s bedroom a sleep haven

Who would like to sleep in a room that is cluttered with rubbish and toys? Just like aduts, kids also want to sleep in a room that’s cosy and has a soft lighting that makes them comfortable and also helps ease off any fears.

#5 Incorporate plenty of exercise 

You don’t need an expert to tell you that kids who play more are so tired that they fall asleep as soon as they hit the sack. Make sure that your kids spend a lot of time playing outdoors in natural surroundings. It also boosts energy levels during the day and can help give you more restful sleep. Exercise can also relieve stress, another major cause of insomnia.

#6 Eliminate sodas and drinks that contain caffeine

Drinking soda can disrupt your sleep and cause your brain to trigger several physiological responses. Besides they are too loaded with sugar. The National Sleep Foundation reports the effects of caffeine can cause problems falling asleep as much as 10-12 hours later in some people

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[Image courtesy: Google]
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