Sleep is one of the most important things we do. Proper sleep can help stave away depression, and keep both the mind and body healthy. When we sleep, the body performs the necessary repairing and restoration work it can’t do when we’re awake. Without our daily eight hours, the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and high blood pressure increases, among others.
When your child can’t sleep, it can feel debilitating. Nothing feels right when your child is uncomfortable. As parents, it is our duty to provide the solutions to problems our kids face. If they’re suffering from restless sleep, you might feel lost. Sleep is something that comes naturally to most people, and you might feel confused about what you can do.
Find Out What’s Happening
Your first step is to find out what’s happening. Is your kid staying awake to watch a TV show? Are they staying awake to text or call their friends? Do they have too much homework that they’re anxious about? Is the bed itself uncomfortable? (Note that there are more options for affordable mattresses now than ever before.) There could be many factors that contribute to why your son or daughter is feeling restless when they’re trying to sleep. Talk to them during the weekend and make sure you work with them instead of imposing rules they’re likely not to follow.
If you know why they can’t sleep, you will be able to help them address it. If they are staying up to socialize, you can instead negotiate extra time to hang out with friends over the weekend. If homework anxiety is keeping them up, you can help them manage their time better with a study schedule. Without knowing where the problem lies, you can’t figure out a solution. Thus, this should be your first step.
Try Weighted Blankets
The incidence of anxiety and stress in children has skyrocketed in the last few decades. As academic competition increases, our kids are under more pressure than before to perform to the best of their abilities. If you notice your child getting up for something to drink or eat multiple times during the night, then this stress might be manifesting in the form of restless sleep.
A simple solution to alleviate the symptoms could be using a weighted blanket. Weighted blankets are simply blankets that have weighted beads sewn inside them. When you use the blanket, your body is put under light pressure. If you’re wondering, ‘are weighted blankets safe for children?’ Then you aren’t alone. Thankfully, weighted blankets are as safe as swaddling and can be used on children who can be swaddled.
Our bodies follow something called a circadian rhythm. This is simply a name for the body clock that we all possess that tells us when to wake up and when to go to sleep. One of the factors that influence our circadian rhythm is light. Diffused light pollution has thrown off many peoples’ circadian rhythm. This can result in trouble getting to sleep, restless sleep, and a decrease in the quality of sleep as well.
To try and knock your kid’s circadian rhythm back into proper form, you could try melatonin. Melatonin is a sleep supplement that helps you get to sleep, stay asleep, and wake up feeling refreshed. It is a non-habit forming sleep aid that is available over the counter. However, always ask your pediatrician before you give your child any new supplement or medication. A child’s body is more delicate than an adult’s, and you don’t want any untoward incidents.
Take Away Distractions
Phones and laptops are a big distraction in the bedroom. With the worldwide internet at the tip of their fingers, why would children want to sleep? This is a problem, especially with older children or teenagers. This is one of the first few generations growing up with the internet, so a certain level of dependency is expected. However, it should be dealt with swiftly.
Try and limit the screen time your child gets. Whether the screen is a gaming console, a phone, a TV, or a laptop, it is essential that they spend some of their time offline. Encourage hanging out with friends face to face instead of video calling. You could also sign them up for more outdoor activities that will exhaust them physically and encourage restful sleep. Martial arts are an excellent outlet for physical and mental energy. They also have long-term benefits, not to mention it is one of the few physical activities a child will consider cool!