Like adults, kids have trouble sleeping at times. Diet, environment and outside forces may disrupt their sleep cycle. Determining the reason for their sleeplessness is the first step in knowing the remedy best suited to help them sleep. Follow specific guidelines to help your child get a better night's rest.
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Food and Drinks
Limit or avoid sugar and caffeine-rich food and drinks three to four hours before bedtime. Keep dinner time at least three hours before bedtime so the child has time to digest his food before going to bed. If the child has trouble falling asleep, give him 1/2 cup of warm milk before bedtime. Avoid giving him more than 1/2 cup of liquids before bedtime as the urge to urinate may wake him up in the middle of the night.
Limit television and computer games before bedtime. Over-stimulation from computer games or television hinders the ability to release hormones for sleeping. Reading or being read to has a calming effect that allows the child to relax. Rock toddlers before sleep; the rhythmic movement and soft humming soothes them into slumber. Play soft music or even a recording of you singing a lullaby to help her drift off to sleep.
Talk to your child regarding any stressors in their life, such as school work, bullying or friends. Reassure her and work with her to relieve her worries so she may sleep better at night. If your child is afraid of the dark, place a night lite in the room. Leave the bedroom door open so the child does not feel isolated.
Talk to your doctor about natural sleep aids, such as melatonin or lavender fragrances, for your child. Using sleep aids on a temporary basis may help achieve a sleep pattern for your child. Always consult your doctor before giving any herbal or supplemental medications to your child.