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Few things are as irritating as not being able to sleep properly. Children require a lot more sleep than adults, as it’s necessary for the proper growth and development. The average child requires at least 9 hours of sleep per day and, in the case of babies, it can be as much as 18 hours. If your child experiences discomfort while sleeping or trying to sleep you are not alone, as this is one of the leading problems most parents have with their children. There are a few things you can do to help them to sleep well.

A simple way of helping your child to sleep better is by manipulating the amount of light available in the child’s room. People sleep better in dimly lit areas; this is because bright light inhibits the production of melatonin, a natural hormone that the body produces which aids in sleeping. By using thick curtains that don’t let bright light through, and by reducing night lights, you can enhance your child’s sleeping experience.

Developing a bed time routine can go a long way in helping your child sleep properly. Your bed time routine should constitute moments of love and affection to help the child relax; it may include telling a story, humming or just cuddling. Bed time routines should be brief and ideally should take place in the room where the child is going sleep. Timing is also very important, as it is not a good idea to force your child to sleep. Take note of the child’s behavior; when he/she begins to slow down and display other signs of being tired, then it is the perfect time to put your routine into action.

Encouraging your child to be active can also help them to sleep well. Sleeping is a recovery process; the more energy you exert during the day, the greater your body’s need for rest at night. It is important that you do not give the child any food or drink with caffeine less than six hours before bedtime, as this will just reenergize the child by suppressing the production of melatonin while increasing adrenalin levels. Also, avoid giving child big meals before bed time.

image 31 TECHNIQUES TO HELP YOUR CHILD SLEEP WELLComfort is necessary for anyone to sleep well, especially children. Many things can affect comfort level, such as temperature, noise, quality of the bed and so on. Extreme heat or cold will certainly inhibit a child’s ability to relax; children tend to sleep better when the room is nice and cool. As a parent, you want to make sure your child’s bed is not worn out and lumpy; you also want to make sure all bed linens are clean. There is a school of thought that the noise made by running fans and vaporizers helps babies to sleep better, as it simulates the sound babies hear in the womb.

These are some of the many ways you can use to help your child get the necessary amount of sleep required for his/her development. Sleep deprivation can seriously affect a child’s quality of life, so the onus is on you, the parent, to make the sleeping experience as pleasant as possible.

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