Childhood Insomnia: “Why Won’t My Child Sleep?”

When a child isn’t sleeping through the night, it doesn’t just affect their mental and physical health but their parents’ as well. Here are a few tips for managing childhood insomnia:

Put them to bed earlier

Parents often underestimate just how much sleep their children require. Children under the age of 13 require 9-11 hours of sleep every night. So if your child is experiencing aggression, mood swings, and attention issues during the day, they’re likely not getting enough sleep at night. For your child to function properly, adjust their bedtime routine and put them to bed earlier!

Reduce caffeine intake

Caffeine is a stimulant. Stimulants increase activity in the brain and nervous system, which can make it more difficult to fall asleep. To ensure your child is getting a good night’s sleep, reduce their caffeine intake or don’t allow them to consume caffeine in the evening. Avoid sodas, coffee, and chocolate!

Check on their mental health

Depression, anxiety, and stress all contribute to poor sleep. If your child is struggling with their mental health, they may have issues sleeping at night. It’s important to check in with your child regularly — how are they managing their workload at school? Are they having any issues with their friends or peers? Supporting your child’s mental and emotional health will benefit their physical health as well!

Create a relaxing environment

Your child’s environment can affect their quality of sleep. If they have a TV, toys, or video games in their bedroom, their sleep environment is likely too stimulating. To fall asleep and stay asleep, your child should have a relaxing bedtime routine and environment. Move any distractions into a separate playroom and offer relaxing nighttime alternatives, like reading.

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