Sleeping Tips for Kids

November 27, 2008

in Kids, Sleeping Tips

When kids can’t sleep, it can be a nightmare for their loving parents. Here are some useful tips on how to handle sleeping disorders in children.

As adults, many of us are reluctant to seek advice when we have trouble sleeping. We assume it’s related to a source of stress or frustration and silently hope that when we solve that problem we will also solve our sleeping problems. But when it’s your child that can’t sleep it’s a whole other issue. The good news is that most sleep irregularities are temporary. Remember that regularity is crucial to good sleeping habits in both children and adults. If your children are not on a steady schedule then it’s time to put them on one. Here is a list of tips that will set your children up for a good night’s sleep:

No caffeine.
Ideally kids shouldn’t have caffeine at all, but society and clever marketing have us convinced that it’s an acceptable choice for our children and ourselves. Thus caffeine is a regular culprit when kids can’t sleep. If you are going to allow your children to have caffeine, then make it a special treat and limit it strictly to morning and afternoon meals.

Establish pre-sleep routines. At least an hour before bedtime, your child should start their pre-sleep routine. For most kids, this includes brushing their teeth, bathing, putting on their pajamas, and having a story read to them or having their parents tuck them in. These simple routines can be done at home or while away on vacation and signify to your child both consciously and subconsciously that it’s time to prepare for sleep.

Know what your children need. Many times it’s not that kids can’t sleep, it’s that they don’t want to, but being lenient about bedtime is one of the biggest and most harmful mistakes a parent can make. A surprising majority of the population thinks that eight hours is not only the ideal amount of sleep for them but for their children too. In truth, children between the ages of five and 12 should still be sleeping 9 to 12 hours a night. Progressively later bedtimes for children in this age group have led to a large number of sleep-deprived children. Don’t let yours be among that number!

If your child seems tired during the day and especially if they are falling asleep during the day, then they are not getting enough sleep. Remember to model good sleep behaviors in your own life, and to be considerate of your child’s sleeping needs when you are still awake (lower the TV volume, shut off lights that are visible from their room, etc).

While virtually everyone will have sleep problems at some point in their life, there are some situations that are better handled by professionals. How do you know when to go to a doctor? You should go to a doctor any time that your kids can’t sleep due to physical discomfort. You should also get medical attention if you suspect your child has a sleeping disorder and their sleep loss has continued for an extended period of time. Finally, if your child is sleeping but has irregular sleep patterns or is still tired when they wake up, consult your doctor about possible solutions.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

skatss November 29, 2008 at 3:05 pm

All great tips. I especially like the one that suggests parents should start a presleep routine an hour or so before bed time. This way the kids know that bed will be soon and it give them a chance to wind down before actually going to sleep.


richard December 8, 2008 at 4:12 am

well those are all good tips. but im 16 and iv tried everything even all of your tips but nothing seems to help me fall asleep i have had this problem for almost 6 years! would you happen to have any tips on what I could do to help me fall asleep?


Wildwoman December 15, 2008 at 9:14 am

These are some very helpful tips. The pre-sleep routine is an excellent way to help get your child ready for bed. I use many of these tips already but I see that I do need to adjust my daughters bedtime so she can get a little more sleep.


antkmom December 15, 2008 at 2:50 pm

Great advice. I raised 4 children and went threw all the troubles of getting them to sleep. By my 4th, I used all the tips that you suggest and it was a breeze.


jaclyn August 16, 2009 at 4:16 am

omg im 12 i know young but i litterly tried everything i am up 24/7 no LIE!! do u have help i think it may be stress but im not sure i have like 50 million things goin threw my head at night though!!


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