It doesn't matter if it's the school year or the summer months, many tweens just aren't getting the sleep they need. For many children sleep isn't a priority, but despite the fact that your tween is getting older, he still needs to rest. It's recommended that preteens get at least nine hours of sleep a night, but busy tweens often times fall short on fulfilling that amount. Schedules, homework, sleepovers, television, and computer time are usually the culprits. Here's what you need to know about sleep, children and the obstacles tweens face when it comes to getting a good night's rest.
1. Quit CaffeineSleep, children and caffeine just don't mix. Caffeine should be avoided as much as possible after 3 p.m. Children who consume iced tea or other caffeinated beverages may pay the price later that night. Even foods such as chocolate or coffee ice cream might have small traces of caffeine, and should be avoided.
2. Establish a Transition
Sometimes it's hard for tweens to transition from a hectic day to bedtime. Make sure your tween's curfew allows him time to get ready for bed
and relax a little at home before laying down to rest. You can also help children sleep by offering suggestions that will help them calm down, and begin the process of rest. Television and computers should be off limits an hour or so before your tween's ideal bedtime hour. Before they go to sleep, children can participate in activities that help them relax, such as reading a book or taking a warm shower.
3. Stop Snacking
It's hard to get a tween to stop snacking, but eating right before bedtime is never a great idea. During the day, make sure your tween has plenty of healthy snacks to choose from
so that you know his growing body is getting the nutrition it needs, and that he's not loaded up with sugar, which can also make sleeping difficult.
4. Kill the LightToddlers often need a night light in order to get to sleep. However, night lights for tweens can disrupt changing hormone levels and interfere with a good night's rest. Break your tween of her night light habit as soon as possible. Before they go to sleep, children should shut down any television or computer screens in their rooms.
5. Slow DownIf your tween is truly struggling with bedtime, and has troubling waking up in the morning, you may need to take a serious look at the family schedule. Tweens who are overbooked with activities may need to slow down a little, in order to develop a regular sleep schedule.
6. Children, Sleep and Stress
Stress can interfere with a child's sleep, just as it can with an adult's. Try to find out if your tween is struggling with stress
. School problems, friend problems, or problems at home might be what's keeping your tween up at night.