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Bedtime should be a relaxing and peaceful end to a long day of activity and children should find solace and relief in a restorative sleep that recharges their batteries. However, some parents find it alarming that their children look weary and sleepy during the day. One of the dreaded feedbacks parents don’t want from teachers is a note or a phone call to tell them their child isn’t paying attention in class or finds it hard to concentrate. Modern technology also plays a part in keeping children awake at night as the little pocket rocket computers also known as smartphones, occupy their attention and entertain them late at night. If you’re struggling in different manners to give your child the correct environment for them to achieve good, long healthy hours of sleep, there’s a wave of knowledge that could help you for this mission.
Photo by – Abi Porter
Determining how much sleep
Their diet will boost or sap their energy. Steer clear from heavily processed foods and saturated fats; along with complex sugars. Wheat and slow-burning carbohydrates together, with fruits and vegetables, supply comprehensive sources of energy which last longer and only activate under certain circumstances. For example, energy from bananas is only released in large quantities when they’re starting to play a sport or running. Working out on average how much sleep in terms of hours a day you child needs is a difficult task. Every child is different just like every adult. Some children perform remarkably well during the day on less than the recommended amount for their age. Other children run out of energy before the day is over. The best way to figure out the mean averages is to go by their age, school stage and hours they need. Kids between the ages of 5-12 need around 9-12 hours of sleep regularly. Teenagers from 12 and over start to become acclimatized to long working days of school, homework, and play. Therefore they need around 8-9 hours of sleep daily.
Something that might be causing irritants is the material of their bed sheets and mattress covers. Our bodies shed millions of skin cells every day, and dust mites love to feast on them. Their waste causes conditions like dermatitis, which causes intense itching and scratching. Often high-quality bed sheets are the most comfortable because the fabric breathes soothes hair follicles and the surface of the skin. Polyester is the most common material, yet it’s woven tightly, doesn’t flex a lot, and because it doesn’t like to stretch, it sometimes collects in part and becomes bunched up. High-quality cotton sheets are the exact opposite. They’re priced higher but excel in smooth, soft and stretchiness to work with your body and not against it. The same goes for your child’s pillow. If their face is cushioned by a soft material, and because of the flexibility, their neck is supported, a high-quality pillow such as one stuffed with feathers or wool, adapts to their shape.
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As their bodies are growing and reacting to their world around them, their immune system will fluctuate. Moreover, how they sleep is crucial to slowly close their eyes without disturbance. They can’t sleep in their day clothes, so buy them sleeping clothes which they can put on when it’s time for bed such as a onesie. Something made from wool or cotton is the best bet, as some man-made synthetic fibers might stir an allergic reaction to the chemicals used to bind the materials. Equally, ask them how they want to sleep, rather than giving them rules to follow by; comfort is subjective. If they’d like to sleep in their underwear, naked, or just without a t-shirt and their bed facing a certain direction, or placed at a specific point in the room, such as near a window, cater to their needs.
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Create a routine
Write down a bedtime routine and stick to it. One of the biggest shortfalls of parenting is allowing children to stay up late on the games console, watching T.V. or staying out late with friends. After dinner, allow them time to slightly digest their food. Then, according to the time their alarm is set to wake up, count backward and calculate how much time their need to sleep. This will determine exactly when they should be sent off to bed. Take their phones away from them, so they don’t have any distraction or excuses for not waking up on time for school. Be strict, because it’s for their own good; however on Friday you can compromise and let them stay up a little later. You’ll make this time back, on Sunday, when the normal schedule reverts, so they’re ready and fresh for Monday morning lessons.