Good sleep is essential for both adults and children alike. Good sleep at night benefits the healthy growth and happiness of your child. Also, poor sleep can result in poor concentration at school thus lowering your pre-teenager's grades.
As a general rule, your pre-teenager ideally needs about 10 hours a day. One main reason for your pre-teenager to suffer from sleeplessness is increasing social and academic pressures. Sociocultural changes can also contribute to sleeplessness. A few sleep disorders that can affect your pre-teenager are obstructive sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, insomnia and circadian rhythm disorders. Some easy tips for you to help your pre-teenager catch up with the much wanted sleep are:
Establish a routine that has to be followed daily and ensure that your child sticks to it. You can help her help her schedule her time for homework, chores and wind-down relaxation time.
If your child enjoys watching the television or using the computer, set up a time limit up to when she can use them. Beyond this time, make sure she turns it OFF. Ideally, this can be about an hour before bedtime. The silence can help her to unwind herself and relax before going to sleep. Remember, excitement can deprive her of sleep.
Reduce the number of sleeping hours in the morning. The more your child sleeps during the day, the less likely she will sleep at night.
If she is in the habit of doing exercises, tell her to finish them in the morning. Ask her to avoid doing them at night before bedtime.
Limit her intake of caffeine especially after lunch and during the evening.
Caffeine is known to help keeping yourself awake. However, you may consider giving her a glass of milk before you go to bed. Milk is known to help in getting good sleep.
Make the task of getting ready for bed both fun and something special to look forward to. This can be as simple as reading stories or going to bed with her favourite soft toy.
Encourage her to have a hot bath just before going to bed. The hot shower can relax her stressed muscles.
Avoid giving her large meals or spicy meals just before bedtime. These can make digestion difficult. It is a good idea to have your last meal at least two hours before bedtime.
Maintain a cool atmosphere in the bedroom. Keeping the windows open to let in the fresh air is a good idea.
Request your child to sleep on her back and ask her to go to bed only when she is tired. This helps to minimise tosses and turns before falling asleep.
Switch off all the lights in the bedroom so that it is dark. A dark room can help to stimulate sleep better than a brightly lit room. If your pre-teenager is afraid of the dark, you can use a small night lamp.
Avoid painting or decorating the bedroom with bright colours. Light soothing colours are a better choice.
Get your child checked for deficiency of iron. Iron deficiency can result in sleep deprivation.
Finally, it is a good idea to encourage your pre-teenager to go to bed early and rise early in the morning. Remember the saying, "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise."?