A good night’s sleep is the basis of every good day. It should make early mornings easier and leave your child feeling more alert and ready for what the day brings.
Why is my child refusing to get out of bed?
Speaking to Parents Magazine, naturopathic physician Nina-Mare Rueda says that having an understanding of your child’s sleep and wake cycles can help you assess the reasons why they may be having difficulties waking up. When we sleep, we usually pass through 4 stages with each sleep cycle lasting around 90 minutes. If your child is in a deeper sleep cycle when awoken, it may be more difficult to wake them.
Fear not, this issue has a rather easy solution. By using a sleep calculator, the site will let you know the optimal time to rest so your child will wake up feeling refreshed instead of groggy.
But of course, there are a variety of factors that could contribute to the refusal to leave bed in the mornings, from late-night screen time to sleepless nights. With this article, hopefully we can minimise the effects of those factors.
How much sleep should my child be getting?
According to this handy graphic by Healthhub, a good average is about 9 hours of sleep for your child. For younger children, parents can aim for about 10-11 hours of sleep.
Tips for a better good night’s sleep
Keep a regular sleep schedule.
Try to have your child go to sleep and wake up at the same time every single day. (Yes, even on the weekends.) The consistency of a routine will help signal to your body and brain when it’s time to sleep and wake up. Establishing these routines will make it much easier for your child to fall asleep and wake up at regular times everyday.
Introduce relaxing bedtime routines
Dr Sharman and Rebillot cite a warm shower in helping your child wind down for the day. The act of a warm shower helps promote relaxation and lower cortisol levels. You can also introduce other calming activities such as reading a book with your child or listening to calming music.
Create a Worry Time
Like us adults, stress can also disrupt sleep in your children. This can come from school work or classmates.
Consider allocating a time in the day where they can discuss their worries and you can strategise with your child on how to combat those worries. This may lessen them spending their nights worrying about their stresses.
Avoid late night screen exposure
Screen Time should be avoided at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Research has shown that the blue light emitting from our electronic devices suppresses melatonin which helps support our sleep cycle. Your child should not be engaging in any devices before bedtime.
What if even after all this my child still can’t fall asleep? If your child is constantly struggling with sleeping, you may feel the need to seek professional medical help. If after getting into bed and they are still unable to fall asleep after 20 minutes, have them get up and do a relaxing activity with them until they are sleepy.
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