The Best Sleeping Conditions for Your Children
Can you remember the days when you would panic as soon as your parents shut your bedroom lights off? How about that mysterious ticking noise that came from the heater every night at the same time just after the lights went out? Do you remember convincing yourself there was an actual monster under your bed?
Chances are you did at least one of them. However, as we get older, we often forget that the darkness of bedtime can be a spooky place for a child. Now that we have grown up, we know that there is no monster under our bed, because that’s fiction. We know that the heat is on a time delay, so it activates every night at 9:10 PM, and that the only thing we need to fear when the lights go out is to remember where your furniture is. Stubbing your toe or falling down right before bed is never a good way to start your restful slumber!
So what can you do to help your child sleep easily throughout the night? Here’s how to make their sleep as easy as possible:
Bedroom lighting – It is safe to say that your child is scared of the dark; most children resolve their fear of darkness by the age of 7, as they realize it is an irrational fear. Some children take longer, some may resolve their fear early, but in either case, it will still affect their sleep. Leaving the door open with a hallway light on may resolve the issue, but allowing too much light to enter can also prevent them from falling or staying asleep. The best way to help your child through this fear is to use a nightlight. Plug it in close to the door in case they need to use the bathroom during the night. You don’t want them holding anything in because of their fear; it can lead to health complications.
Sound – If your child reports noises that have woken him/her up or kept them from falling asleep, it may be time to invest in an ambient noise machine. Your child may perceive any noise to be out of the ordinary, especially while lying in the dark. As an adult, we can become accustomed to a repetitive noise or any noise that we know where it has originated from. We often subconsciously train ourselves to ignore noises we are familiar with, but your child may not be so lucky! An ambient noise maker will create a sound similar to a rushing waterfall or wind blowing. This device will muffle or even block out any noise that may awaken or startle your child. The sound is soothing and can have a calming effect.
Temperature – Children may not fully understand the role temperature plays in regards to sleep. You, as a parent, may not fully recognize the significance either, but you are able to cope with temperature changes better! Being too hot or too cold can induce nightmares as well as wake you up, so having the right temperature may increase your sleep quality. As an adult, it is easier to relax, add or take off clothes, grab an extra blanket, and fall back asleep than it is for a child. They may become anxious or wound up from having to wake up and get comfortable again. Make sure you can set your child’s bedroom to a temperature they are comfortable with. If their room is naturally too cold or too hot due to insulation or their room’s location, consider getting a portable heater or AC to help.
Bed – Make sure your child’s bed is a suitable size for him or her. Sleep walking, tossing and turning, and even rolling around while sleeping is common for child, so make sure their bed is large enough to support these movements while being close to the ground. If your child does begin to sleep walk, having their bed close to the ground will prevent them from falling and hurting themselves. Additionally, if they roll off the bed, the fall will not be as bad. The last thing any parent wants is for their child to get hurt while sleeping. This can add an additional fear to bedtime and it can make it harder for your child to get restful sleep!
Sleep plays a vital role in helping your child stay healthy, learn, develop memories and grow mentally. Making sure he or she gets the best sleep possible will also help you sleep easy! If you have any other advice for parents on how to make their child’s sleeping conditions better, feel free to comment below!