When you have children who don’t want to go to bed, bedtime brings you thoughts of nightmares rather than sweet dreams. Many parents enter into a bedtime battle of wills every night as they try to get their child to go to bed and go to sleep. In fact, sleep problems are some of the most common problems parents face regarding their children, according to the University of Michigan Health System.
Set up a bedtime routine with a strict schedule. You must stick to the same bedtime and wake time every night and day. On the weekends, if you want a little wiggle room, try to keep bedtime and wake time no more than an hour later.
Time the routine so that it lasts between 30-to-45 minutes, with the same three or four activities every night.
Cool or heat your child’s room so that the temperature is between 68-to-70 degrees F.
Keep your child’s room dark. If your child does not like the room completely dark, a nightlight should do the trick.
Make sure your child has a quiet place to sleep. You can use a sound machine to block out noise if necessary.
Check your child’s bed to make sure it is comfortable.
Walk your child back to his bed if he wakes in the middle of the night. Don’t prolong this wake time by turning on the TV or reading another book. Simply walk him back, kiss him goodnight and leave.
- If your child isn’t getting enough sleep, she may be sleep deprived during the day. Sleep-deprived children have more trouble controlling their emotions, according to the University of Michigan Health System. If your child is cranky, irritable and over-emotional during the day, she may not be getting enough sleep at night.
- Do not get your child worked up at bedtime by roughhousing, watching TV, playing video games, using the computer or giving any caffeine.
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