Difficulty concentrating on homeschool? Having behavior issues during the day?
To get a good night’s sleep, your child needs to be able to get to sleep and stay that way. Most children wake up on their own in the morning if they get enough, high-quality sleep. As a mom of 3, I’ve found this to be true time and time again especially as a homeschooler. When my children don’t sleep well, for whatever reason, the next day is difficult and a struggle to get them learning throughout the day.
I’ve often found that addressing a few specific issues can adjust the sleeping issues and help my child get back on track. Have you tried these sleep routine tips?
Address Any Aches, Pains, or Discomforts
In many cases, your child will not sleep well because they are uncomfortable or in pain. For example, does your child have a cavity? If so, now is the time to learn about dental insurance and have this problem taken care of. Other issues may be an upset stomach, aching muscles, or even a headache. Be sure to talk to your child about these problems and take steps to eliminate them.
Setting up a regular bedtime routine around the same time every night helps encourage quality sleep patterns. Creating a bedtime routine that involves a bath or shower, story, and laying down will help children feel more ready to go to sleep. For older kids, the routine may involve a quiet talk with you before they go to sleep.
Encourage Relaxation before Bed
Encourage your child to relax before going to bed. Older kids may want to wind down by reading or listening to music. If you have a child who takes over 30 minutes to go to sleep, they may require a longer time to wind down before turning the lights off and going to sleep.
Maintain Regular Sleep and Wake Times
Make sure you stick with the same bedtime and wake-up time for your children. It is best to keep these times within one to two hours of one another. This helps to keep your child’s body clock in a standard pattern. It is smart to do this on school days, along with the weekend and holidays.
Keep an Older Child’s Naps Short and Early in the Day
Most children will stop napping between the ages of three and five. If you have a child who is over the age of five and they still take naps during the day, make sure they do not stay asleep for more than 20 minutes and do not let them sleep any later than the early afternoon. Later and longer naps will make it more challenging for children to get to sleep at night and stay asleep.
Be Sure Your Child Feels Safe at Night
Does your child feel scared about going to bed or being alone in the dark? If so, try to praise or reward your child when they are brave. Avoid letting them watch scary television shows, playing scary computer games or videos, and similar things. Some kids who have fears at bedtime will feel better if they have a night light in their room.
Check the Light and Noise in Your Child’s Room
Low light and quiet rooms are essential for a good night’s sleep. Take time to check your child’s bedroom to see if it is too loud or light for them to sleep well. Remember, light from TVs, tablets, phones, and other screens can suppress the child’s melatonin levels, which will delay the child from feeling sleepy.
Finally, one additional way to improve your child’s sleep is by purchasing a new mattress (find best mattress brands) to help ensure they are comfortable and fully supported. If a child can sleep and rest well at night then daytime and ultimately your homeschooling efforts will be much easier to accomplish.
Volunteer submission from Ashley Lipman.