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Is your child lacking energy, easily losing concentration at school, or even unexpectedly gaining weight?

According to sleep expert and Group CEO of Bedsonline.com.au, Cliff Sneider, these could all be signs your child is not getting the sleep their body needs to grow and function optimally.

Sleep is imperative for a child’s natural development and not having the appropriate number of hours each day can have a significant impact on health, growth and cognitive development.

The hours that a child needs varies from newborns requiring up to 18 hours, infants (3-11 months) up to 15, toddlers (1-3 years) up to 14, and school age (5-10 years) up to 11 hours[i].

“Not understanding why a child is less active than other kids or is growing at a different rate can be frustrating for parents,” said Cliff. “My advice would be for these parents to assess if their child is receiving the sleep that their body requires. There is no strict rule of thumb. Depending on the child’s daily activity, the amount of sleep time they require may vary. As a start, I suggest correcting bad habits early on and making a few pre-bedtime routine changes – you’ll be surprised with the results! If symptoms persist then be sure to visit a GP.”

Bedsonline.com.au is Australia’s leading online bedding speciality retailer. As a longstanding expert in bedding, Cliff has come across nearly every sleep issue that’s out there and, by providing some simple tips learned through experience, has managed to improve sleep quality for most sufferers.

7 tips to give your child a good night’s sleep:

  1. Set a regular time for bed each night and stick to it – The body needs to learn when it’s time to sleep. Making sure your child goes to bed at the same time every evening will teach this early on. Also try organising cues that trigger in the child’s mind that it’s nearly bedtime such as dressing them in their pyjamas 20 minutes prior to bedtime each evening or making them put toys away an hour beforehand.
  2. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine – As mentioned above, routine is important as it lets the body know when it’s time to start getting ready for sleep. Establishing a routine that involves reading a bedtime story, drinking a glass of warm milk or having a soothing bath will help your child relax, sending them off to sleep quicker.
  3. Make after-dinner playtime relaxing – Relaxing playtime after dinner gives your child time to unwind from the day before going to bed. That means no extraneous physical or mind-stimulating activities like playing on computers/tablets, playing video games, or watching television.
  4. Avoid large meals close to bedtime – Bodies need time to digest food and attempting to sleep soon after eating can be uncomfortable and cause problems with digestion. This can make it hard for children to fall asleep and even cause them to wake up during the night.
  5. Avoid anything with caffeine such as chocolate less than six hours prior to bedtime – Caffeine tends to affect children more so than adults so it’s best to avoid things that contain the stimulant for several hours before bed.
  6. Make sure your children’s bedroom is a comfortable temperature, quiet and dark – The ideal sleep space should be dark and quiet – If your child does not feel comfortable when it is too dark use a very dim nightlight. The bedroom should also be comfortable and cool, with a temperature of 18 -20°C.
  7. Wake them up at the same time – It’s important that you wake your child at the same time each day, even at the weekends. Your child’s body clock needs a strict routine and in setting a specific wake up time you will notice a consistent amount of energy from your child each day.

For further tips and sleep advice visit bedsonline.com.au

  • Thanks for sharing this interesting article with helpful tips.

    Reply

  • Thank you for the tips. I’m really struggling to get my son to bed at a reasonable time each night and he’s fighting the day sleeps but is only 2. I’m worried he’s not getting enough sleep. But he’s certainly not lacking energy he goes all day.

    Reply

  • ok so you are saying that playing attack of the light sabers and chocolate icecream while watching tv is not good? before bed. lol

    Reply

  • Now if only these tips worked we one out off three that will just not sleep

    Reply

  • I would love it if my boys would sleep in past 6:30 am
    I eben said to them ill give you 2$2 to stay in bed longer on the weekend as they wake up still tired and grumpy. And its school hokidays si would love it if they slept in once.
    And tko the ill pay you to sleep longer didnt happen either. Have tried every thing still not winning in myside. So think im going to have to out up with early risers

    Reply

  • All good tips. Thanks. Especially the rising at the same time each day. That point is actually more important that going to bed at the same time each day. Adults should heed this advice too :-)

    Reply

  • Great tips that I didn’t know about

    Reply

  • Mmmm if I could get then to sleep as long on the weekends as the weekdays I would be happy!

    Reply

  • Kids like a routine and letting them set one themselves often leads to sleepy grumpy kids. Some good tips thank you.

    Reply

  • All good points! I babysit often and I have found that many kids do not have a routine, never had one ever! I suggest that a small glass of warm milk settles kids down to a good night sleep. Warm milk fills the tummy and lets the kids know it’s bed-time and off to sleep. (No more reading or night lights, stimulates etc.) If the kids like reading then read in bed and I will bring the milk in at a time suited then it’s lights out.

    Reply

  • i do some but not all, and it does’nt happen every night.

    Reply

  • I agree 100%
    A friend of mine has a daughter who is cronic with her children. The kids are carted all over the place at night as she does her social rounds and they are often left with with various different people in various different locations. The kids bedtimes vary with anything from 10pm to 3am. They drink coca cola when ever they want.
    Im just stunned that she thinks this sort of thing is acceptable and then the kids have to go to school the next day.

    Reply

  • This is a great help thankyou!

    Reply

  • Good advice here. Miss 3 survives (and thrives) on about 12 hours…and is so active she can’t sleep any more than that is I am strict with a routine to ensure she gets those hours.

    Reply

  • Very informative and some great tips, thanks muchly.

    Reply

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