We all know caffeine helps to keep us awake. Even though most children do not drink coffee or tea, what is commonly overlooked is the presence of caffeine hidden in many other food and drink sources that kids consume. For example, Coke, some kinds of chocolates, energy drinks etc. contain high levels of caffeine and may keep the child feeling wired for at least a couple of hours.
TV and other digital media
Across the world it has been noticed that many children’s sleep problems are connected to TV/other media usage. Several studies done on this topic have time and again revealed that children who watch increased hours of TV or other media tend to experience more trouble falling asleep, staying asleep and tend to have more sleep disturbances. Limiting media exposure and ensuring that your child doesn’t watch TV or use other media in the last hour before sleep is a key strategy to help our children sleep calmly through the night.
Snoring or other forms of breathing disorders
Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) includes snoring, loud breathing, troubled breathing and interrupted breathing (apnea) during sleep. SDB can restrict the oxygen supply to a child’s brain and cause serious health problems. It is also associated with poor sleep quality, frequent night wakings, and daytime sleepiness. If your child shows any such symptoms it is advisable to take him to your paediatrician.
Teach children to sleep on their own
If your child is already in school and has not yet learned to fall asleep on his own, then it is a good idea to work on it right away. Most children learn to fall asleep on their own by their first or second birthday. Children who fall asleep on their own tend to stay asleep longer and experience lesser sleep disturbances.
When it comes to children, consistency and repetition is key. If bedtime rules are unclear or inconsistently enforced, then children tend to display more bed time resistance and constantly try to break the rules or push boundaries. When children have regular bedtimes and consistent bed time routines, it is noticed that they sleep easier and longer at night.