Today, many school-aged children are affected by lack of sleep, just like busy adults. This is not surprising since children have nowadays jam-packed schedules, which includes homework; and various after school activities such as playing sports practices, music classes, playing video-games with friends, watching TV etc.
Did you know, that all of these after school activities contribute to a chronic deprivation of sleep?
Most parents are not ensuring that their children get sufficient rest, especially those with busy lifestyles.
Studies show that children should get 9 to 12 hours of sleep. If your child is not getting enough rest, he or she is more likely to have problems with thought patterns, lapses in memory and concentration, weight gain, increase stress levels, as well as common illness and injury.
The following are some of the signs to look for if you believe that your child is not getting sleep:
- Irritable behavior
- Unable to fall asleep 15 to 30 minutes after going to bed
- Difficulty to wake up in the morning
- Very hyperactive
- Overly moody and emotional
- Unable to concentrate in school
- Grades decreasing
- Feeling tired and falling asleep during the day
How To Help Your Child Get Enough Sleep?
First, you have to determine the ideal bedtime for your child; and the amount of sleep that he or she should be getting. After that, you can follow these suggestions:
1. Establish a regular time for bed. Whenever your child looks tired in the evening, you can take this as a hint to start a bedtime routine. This should be done before he or she catches on and takes longer to settle down. Another way to set a regular bedtime would be to put your child to bed each night between seven and nine if their wake up time is seven every morning.
2. Remove all distractions that could interfere with your child sleeping time. This includes items such as game cell phone, ipad, computer, game-console, television etc.
3. Encourage your child to exercise during the day. This is important for teens as it can help them to sleep better at nights. Ensure that your teenager is not drinking caffeine or soda during the evening, because this could help to keep them awake.
If you start a new routine with your school-aged child, stick to it as much as possible. Consistency is, like everything else, always the key!