On March 17, World Sleep Day is celebrated with the slogan “Sleep deeply, nurture life.”
In this context, from Innova Asistencial, we provide some tips that may be useful to alleviate your sleep problems and promote good sleep. Failure to do so has many other consequences, not just being tired during the day (headaches, muscle contractions, dental problems)
Tips for well-Sleeping Habits
- Maintain an organized sleep schedule, regularize bedtime and wake up.
- Avoid sleeping during the day, if only a half-hour nap. If you nap, do so at the same time each day.
- Get enough sleep to feel healthy, not spending too much time in bed.
- Do not go to bed without sleep.
- Calm and comfortable environment.
- Dinner should be light, but avoid going to bed hungry.
- Maintain a regular schedule for eating, taking medications, hobbies, and other activities. All of them keep adjusted to the time, our internal biological clock.
- Read or another sleep-inducing ritual. Do not drink much before bed.
- Avoid stimulants, alcohol, and tobacco. Perform regular daily exercise, not before going to bed.
- Establish a pre-sleep ritual that relaxes you. For example, taking a hot bath, eating a light meal or 10 minutes of reading.
How many hours of sleep are recommended?
Each person is different and their sleep needs are also different. The number of hours we need to sleep will depend on various factors, such as age. In the newborn, the sleep time is 16 to 18 hours or more; teens need about 9 hours of sleep; an adult, an average of 7-8 hours, and an elderly man sleeps about six and a half hours. As we age, sleep becomes more fragile and more easily interrupted. In any case, and at any age, having an adequate night’s rest is essential to enjoy good health.
Healthy Tips for Healthy Sleep Habits
The following are helpful tips for establishing good sleep habits for your child:
- Newborns do not have a set day or night schedule for the first few weeks of life. It is best for a newborn to not sleep more than 5 hours at a time in the first 5 to 6 weeks as their small bodies need frequent feeding.
- Older babies and children should have a nap time and an hour to go to sleep.
- Start a quiet moment, like listening to quiet music or reading a book 20 to 30 minutes before going to sleep. Television should not be part of a quiet moment.
- After a quiet moment, follow a bedtime routine, such as changing a diaper, going to the bathroom, and brushing your teeth.
- Set a time limit for quiet time and routine so it doesn’t get too long and your child knows what to expect before bedtime.
- Say good night, turn off the light, and leave the room.
- Safety objects, such as a special blanket or stuffed toy, can be part of your bedtime routine.
- It is important for children to put them to bed awake so they learn to fall asleep on their own.
- Babies should not be put to sleep with a bottle. It causes problems with tooth decay and ear infections.
Useful tips for children with bad sleep habits.
Children can easily fall into bedtime habits that are not always healthy habits. The following suggestions can help when a child doesn’t want to go to sleep or has trouble staying in bed:
- If your child cries, speak calmly and reassure him, “You are fine. It is time to go to sleep.” Then leave the room.
- Do not give him a bottle or lift him.
- Extend the time between trips to the room if your child continues. Do nothing but speak calmly and leave.
- Your child will calm down and sleep if he follows this routine. It may take several nights for your child to get used to the new plan.
- If your child is used to receiving a large amount of milk at bedtime, start reducing the amount of milk in the bottle from 1/2 to 1 ounce each night until the bottle is empty, and then take it out completely.
- Sometimes children abandon their sleep routine at night due to illness or travel. Quickly return to good sleep habits when things return to normal.
Sometimes older children go through a period of time when they return to bad sleep habits or develop new problems when going to sleep. Here are some tips to help parents with older children who are having trouble going to sleep:
- If your child gets out of bed, take him back and warn him that the door will be locked (without a key) for 1 or 2 minutes if he gets out of bed.
- If your child stays in bed, the door remains open. If your child gets out of bed, the door closes for 2 minutes. Your child may understand that he has control to keep the door open if he stays in bed.
- If your child gets out of bed again, close the door for 3 to 5 minutes (no more than 5 minutes).
- Be consistent. Put your child back in bed every time he gets out of bed.
- When your child stays in bed, open the door and praise your child (for example, “You are doing a great job staying in bed. Good night.”).
- Your child can be rewarded with a star on a calendar for staying in bed all night. You can give a special award for a certain number of stars earned.
Sleep habits in children from 0 to 3 years old
1. Define a fixed schedule for each routine: for bath, dinner and bedtime. It is about preparing the little one to rest; in this way they will associate these habits with the time to go to bed.
In addition, when establishing a sleep schedule, you will see how when the bedtime approaches, the signs that the dream is coming over will begin to appear in the child and it will be easier to put him to bed.
2. Prepare a balanced dinner . A healthy dinner that includes foods like fruit or milk is essential to help them rest. Avoid drinking lots of fluids or eating stimulating foods like chocolates, for example, before going to bed.
3. Give her a bath before bed. This is a relaxing moment for the child and it is perfect because it will help him fall asleep.
4. Create a conducive environment in your room . The room is the place to sleep and rest, so it is important that it is a quiet place, with the right temperature and light and where there is no room for televisions, computers or games.
If your child doesn’t like to sleep with the light off, you can leave a low-intensity nightlight on.
5. Stay firm in routines . It is not about being extremely strict with the schedules, but about keeping them. You can, for example, set some hours during the week and others for weekends, as long as there is not much time difference between them.
Sometimes children will try to skip these routines with a thousand excuses, try to be consistent with what you are teaching them and, with love and patience, explain that you are not going to agree to their intent.