Sleep disorders in children. Small children cannot yet see the point in what should be good about sleeping more at night and less during the day. They sleep when they are tired and come to rest, no matter what time of the morning it is. If it were possible, many adults would think so.
Sleeping habits can also be very different during the day and are often related to those at night. Some children sleep long and easily both at night and at noon. For some time now, others have been falling asleep more and more frequently. You are tired and exhausted, but you cannot calm down. Still, others sleep too little at night and then take a particularly long nap during the day.
Tips for sleeping problems
Of course, it is important for reasonably well-functioning family life that the little ones gradually adapt to the usual schedule. You can’t just force a regular sleep pattern. Nevertheless, a few tips can make it easier for children and parents to get to their sleep :
- Before going to sleep, your child should be awake for at least four hours.
- If possible, bring your child to bed at the same time each evening.
- Introduce falling asleep rituals that are as simple as possible and don’t take too long: cuddle a little, a nursery rhyme, but the cuddly toy in the right place, and (with the exception of a small night lamp) turn off the light.
- When your child wakes up, give them a comforting stroke. Don’t get out of bed, don’t talk, don’t scold.
- If children occasionally wake up at night (which is normal), they will often find it easier to return to sleep once they have learned to sleep on their own.
Older children: early risers
As with adults, there are children who are awake and present immediately after getting up in the morning, while others need a longer start-up time to get up to speed. Often the former is also among the early risers who – as long as they do not yet know how to occupy themselves – are dependent on the company of at least one drowsy parent.
When parents look forward to getting some sleep at the weekend, it often shows how well the children have got used to the early rhythm of the working days: Whether summer or winter, Tuesday or Sunday – the little ones always wake up in the early hours of the morning and want you to play with them.
See also: Myths and Facts About Sleep Apnea
Mainly for safety reasons, there is no getting around until school age to get up and take part. Therefore, here are some recommendations on how you can still make ends meet:
- In the evening, make sure that – if available – all ashtrays and glasses with alcoholic beverages are completely emptied. Cigarettes are out of reach.
- Don’t scold your child if they wake you up early. This is better than doing dangerous things with knives, forks or hot stovetops because of boredom.
- If possible, take turns with your partner to keep your child company in the morning.
- Do not turn your child away, but make it clear that before a certain time (position of the hands) conversation will only be on the back burner. Suggest activities that your child can do on their own, such as painting or listening to tapes.
- If your child always gets up well ahead of time, it may help to put them to bed later and shorten their nap or skip the weekend.
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