"Just turn lights off and go to sleep"
Do you find yourself saying this to your child? Well, you’re not alone!!
Sleep problems are some of most common problems parents face with their children. Some parents struggle with getting their child to sleep through night. New parents worry about how to help their child learn good sleep habits that last a lifetime. And still others wonder if their child’s sleep difficulties are chronic and are concerned that their child may be going through their days sleep-deprived.
Studies reveal that a significant number of children have some form of a sleep disturbance. Sleep disturbances among children and adolescents are common. Prolonged changes in sleep patterns, if left untreated, can result in significant emotional, behavioral, and cognitive impairment and can put your child at risk for poor school performance, accidents, and social or medical problems. The key is to identify changes in sleep, and to know when to seek assistance. Sleep disturbance can take several forms including:
•difficulty falling asleep •trouble staying asleep •frequently awakening
There also are other variations of sleep issues known as parasomnias, e.g., night terrors or sleepwalking.
To alleviate your child's sleep disturbance, try these simple steps:
•Keep bedtime at same time each night: This helps your child establish a structure and enforces a predictable routine. •Monitor unnecessary environmental stimuli: Minimize light and noise in child’s bedroom (music, lights) •Encourage pre-bedtime relaxation: Children respond well to activities that allow them to wind down such as a warm bath, massage or aromatherapy •Share some activity: Dedicate time to reading a bedtime story or talking about your child’s day and encouraging meditation and reflection •Plan transition: Ease child into new processes by discussing changes and comforting their transition into healthy sleep habits