Pediatric Sleep Center Offers Tips for Better Sleeping for Children
Pediatric sleep experts at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital recommend simple tips for better sleeping habits for children:
- Encourage the child to develop regular bedtime and wake-up schedules, even on weekends. This helps the body acquire a consistent sleep rhythm. It often helps to establish sleep routines before bedtime, such as a consistent time for a bath and some quiet time with a bedtime story, and then a time when the lights will be turned off.
- Make sure the child knows that the bed is for sleeping, not playing.
- The child should sleep in the same room consistently. He or she should not be allowed to sleep in rooms designed for other activities, such as the family room.
- Do not allow the child to have any stimulants, such as caffeine, within eight hours of bedtime. Caffeine can be found in cocoa, chocolates, cola and even many non-cola drinks. It is always best to check labels.
- Avoid heavy meals close to bedtime; however, a light snack such as cereal may be helpful.
- Never punish a child by sending them to bed.
By establishing these sleep routines, parents will be better able to help children establish comfortable and restful sleep patterns.