The Pediatric Sleep Center Offers Tips for Better Sleeping

Experts at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital Pediatric Sleep Center are highly trained in diagnosing and treating common sleep disorders, but whether a child has a particular sleep disorder or not, there are simple sleep tips parents can use each night for infants, children and teens. Sleep experts at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital provide the latest sleep tips for parents to use at home.

Sleep Tips for Infants

Healthy infants, when being put to sleep, should be placed on their backs, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Since 1992, when the Academy began recommending this sleep position, the annual Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) rate has declined more than 50 percent.

Additionally, like adults, babies need a routine of winding down prior to falling asleep. Parents should create a regular routine each night that promotes relaxation during the wake time before sleep. For instance, parents of infants should decrease stimulation, dim the lights, and provide soothing experiences like a soft lullaby, calming story or gentle brief massage.

Sleep Tips for Children

Parents can encourage children to develop regular bedtime and wake-up schedules, even on weekends. This helps the body acquire a consistent sleep rhythm. It also helps to have a regular routine each night such as a consistent time for a bath, some quiet time with a bedtime story and then a time when the lights will be turned off.

Sleep Tips for Teens

About 45 percent of teenagers do not get enough sleep, which affects reaction time, decision-making and memory. That is because the natural sleep/wake cycle, called the circadian rhythm, changes dramatically in adolescents, making it difficult for teens to have a quality sleep experience. Parents can help teens get better sleep by making the bed a sleep-only zone. Teens should do homework at a desk or table. They should play games, watch television, and use the computer outside of the bedroom. Also, teens should turn off cell phones before going to bed in order to relax and sleep soundly.