How Nightly Routines and Relaxation Techniques
Can Improve the Quality of Your Child's Sleep
Unlike adults, children don't always appreciate the benefits of a good night's sleep. While parents look forward to slipping under the covers at the end of a long day, kids find plenty of creative excuses to delay bedtime. Unfortunately, bedtime delays can decrease the quality and duration of your child's sleep and affect his or her behavior and performance at school. Following a few of these suggestions can help you ensure that your child gets enough rest at night.
Control the Environment
Sleep environment plays a crucial role in sleep quality. Your child may have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep if he or she doesn't have a dark, quiet place to sleep. The National Sleep Foundation reports that the 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit is the optimum temperature for quality sleep.
- Ban Digital Devices and TV Before Bed
- Set a Bedtime
- Limit Caffeine
- Embrace Routine
- Help Your Kids Relax
Stress doesn't only affect adults. Worries about grades, friends or the monster under the bed can trigger stress and anxiety that make it hard for children and adolescents to fall asleep. Teaching your child meditation, calming yoga poses or progressive relaxation techniques can help them learn to relax at bedtime. Progressive relaxation involves tensing then relaxing muscle groups, starting with the lower part of the body first.
Acupuncture diminishes anxiety, stimulates melatonin production, induces sleep onset, and reduce sleep disruption and arousal during the night. ... In some instances, acupuncture is used as a treatment not for insomnia itself, but for pain or other physical conditions that in turn make it difficult to fall asleep at night.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following daily sleep totals for kids:
- 4 to 12 Months. 12 to 16 hours
- 1 to 2 Years. 11 to 14 hours
- 3 to 5 Years. 10 to 13 hours
- 6 to 12 Years. Nine to 12 hours
- 13 to 18 Years. Eight to 10 hours