Most children under age five have sleep problems. Sleep issues are complicated and have many causes. Sleep has a role in everything- temper tantrums, hyperactivity, growth, health, and even learning.
Maintain a consistent bedtime and awaking time. Establishing a sleep routine sets your child’s biological clock. Try an early bedtime between 6:30 and 7:30 PM. Most children will sleep better and longer when they go to bed early.
Put young children down for regular daily naps. Children often find it difficult to go all day without a nap. Good naps equal better night sleep.
Darkness causes an increase in the release of the body’s sleep hormone. Dim the lights during the hour before bedtime, just as lights on in the morning activate your brain.
Develop a consistent bedtime routine. Routines create security. They help transition children to sleep.
Create a comfortable sleep environment. Make sure the mattress is comfortable, the blankets are warm, the room temperature is right, pajamas are comfy, and the bedroom is welcoming.
Provide the right nutrition. Foods can affect energy level and sleepiness. Vitamin deficiencies due to unhealthy food can affect sleep. Provide your child with a daily variety of healthy foods.
Help your child to be healthy and fit. Too much TV and a lack of physical activity prevents good sleep. Daily exercise improves sleep as long as it is not done to close to bedtime.
Teach your children how to relax. A good pre-bed ritual is story time. A child who is listening to a parent read a book tend to lie still and listen; allowing them to become sleepy.