J&D Ultracare has been providing highly specialized care to its patients since 1985. Because we want everyone to feel as comfortable as possible, we visit our patients in their own homes. Specializing in pediatrics, we’ve helped children across Rockland, Dutchess, Putnam County, Westchester, Sullivan, Ulster, and Orange Counties.
Every week, we cover a variety of topics that can help parents take care of their kids here on the blog. Today, we wanted to go over the sleeping habits of kids!
Sometimes, it can be difficult to get a child to go to sleep if they have too much energy or if they are scared of something like imaginary monsters. That’s why we wanted to highlight a fantastic article written by The Spruce, which goes over nine different tips that will help kids go to sleep. ou can read the full article by clicking here.
Here are our favorite tips from the article:
1. Power Down
In today’s wireless world, many kids spend several hours every day interacting with electronics. This is especially true with the preteen and older set. Unfortunately, one of the most common factors keeping kids awake at night is time spent looking at a glowing screen within an hour or two of bedtime. The light produced by computer, phone or tablet screens is enough to interfere with the brain’s production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates the sleep cycle. If you want your children to fall asleep faster and sleep better, you’ll need to enforce a strict “no electronics” policy for at least one hour before bed.
2. Banish Monsters
The dark is a scary place for many kids. Monsters under the bed, bad guys breaking into the house, the boogeyman lurking in the closet… as children develop active imaginations, it’s very common for nighttime fear to be a side effect. Fear of the dark usually peaks between ages two and six, but can linger on for many kids (and even some adults.) You might not eliminate the fear entirely, but you can help your child handle the fear until it’s naturally outgrown.
A. Let your child sleep with a stuffed toy or other lovey, and remind him that the toy is there to keep him company and keep him safe.
B. Never belittle your child for his fear, but do perform a quick, matter-of-fact “monster check” at bedtime.
C. Although a dark room is best for sleep, a nightlight can really help many kids who fear the dark. Let your child pick out a fun nightlight, and plug it in across the room from the bed.
D. Rearrange your child’s room so that the bed is in a corner. This cuts down on open space monsters might use to reach up and grab your child.
E. Pets can be disruptive to sleep, but a very fearful child is likely to find comfort from having Fido or Mittens nearby, preferably in a pet bed of their own.
3. Serve the Right Snack
Serve your toddler a highly sugary snack before bed, or let your preteen help himself to a couple more slices of pizza before hitting the hay, and you’ll likely have a child who can’t fall asleep on your hands. An overly full stomach is a common cause of sleep difficulties, particularly if that stomach is full of sugar or fat. On the other hand, a hungry child won’t sleep well either. The solution is a light bedtime snack that combines a small helping of protein along with carbs. Ideal choices include a bowl of non-sugary cereal and milk, a slice of turkey wrapped around a celery stick, a nibble of cheese on crackers or a small helping of yogurt. Additionally, make sure your child isn’t drinking anything caffeinated within several hours of bedtime.
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