When your child’s behavior seems to change in a negative way, you may begin to wonder what the cause may be. Did I give them too much sugar? Could they have a disability? What am I doing wrong? These are just some of the questions parents may start to ask themselves when their child begins to act out.
Have you taken a look at your child’s sleeping habits or patterns? How many hours of sleep is your child getting each night? The proper amount of sleep each child should get according to age is as follows:
- 3-11 months old– 14-15 hours
- 1-3 years old- 12-14 hours
- 3-5 years old- 11-13 hours
- school-age children 5+ – 10-11 hours
Healthy Sleep Pattern
You may not think that the amount of sleep your child gets is an issue. The amount of sleep a child gets tends to be a common problem that needs to be addressed. To start encouraging the proper amount of sleep into your child’s routine, here are a few things to try:
- Set a bedtime– Yes, your child may complain that their friends don’t have to go to bed as early as they do, but encourage them by telling them how much better they will feel and how much more energy they will have and be sure to enforce the time you set for your child to go to bed.
- Create a relaxing sleep environment– Eliminate sending a child to bed for poor behavior. You do not want them to think that bedtime is punishment. Provide some sort of white noise in their room such as a fan or vaporizer to cover up noise outside of their room when it is time for bed. Keep the lights in the house dim around bedtime, so your child can differentiate between day and night time inside of your home.
- Cut back on TV– There is no need to have a TV or computer in your child’s bedroom. TV can keep your child’s attention causing them to stay up longer than they need and has also been linked to a poor night’s sleep.
A healthy sleep pattern will benefit your child. Be sure to talk with your child about their sleep habits and pattern. Helping them understand how important a good night’s sleep is will ease the process of enforcing a positive bedtime routine.