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How to Help Children Who Have Trouble Sleeping

>> Jul 19, 2022


When your children have difficulty sleeping at night, it can be frustrating and difficult for you to understand how to help. Poor sleep can affect a child’s mood and mental health over time, as well as their performance in school and social behavior. Experts recommend that children between the ages of 4 and 15 get about 8 hours of sleep each night, although national studies report that a low percentage of children within these age groups actually get what is considered to be a full night of sleep. Whether your child is having trouble sleeping due to stress, fear, bunion pain at night, or anything else that could be impacting their rest, here are a few ways that you can help. 



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  1. Have a Conversation 


Instead of punishing your child for staying up too late, taking away privileges such as technology in their bedrooms, or trying to enforce an earlier bedtime, have a conversation with your child and hear what they have to say about why they might be having a difficult time sleeping. If your child is not sleeping due to a mental, emotional, or physical ailment, having a conversation with them in which they are not getting in trouble will teach them that they can come to you when they are struggling, and might solve the problem right away. 



  1. Create a Routine


Work with your child to create a bedtime routine that works for them and their unique needs. What activities relax your child before bed? What types of things calm them down when they are feeling anxious or stressed? Try to squeeze in as many calming and enjoyable activities in the hours leading up to bedtime as possible. Aim to establish and maintain a consistent routine that does not change each night, so that your child will get into the habit of using this routine to fall asleep. 



  1. Consult a Doctor


If you have tried everything at home to help your child get a good night’s sleep and their sleep schedule still isn’t improving, it might be time to consult a professional. While sleeplessness is common in many children, it can sometimes be a symptom of a mental or emotional disorder such as anxiety, depression, OCD, ADHD, and more. A doctor can evaluate your child and their sleeping habits to indicate if their inability to sleep at night is an indication of a bigger issue, and what steps can be taken to help. 


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