This may not come as news to some parents but studies have confirmed that a child who sleeps well is usually happier. This makes sense though as dads and mums have probably noticed that their kids get super cranky and irritable when they do not get enough sleep.
The researchers surveyed 417,000 kids in Australia and found that those who got long and quality sleep were likely to be in a better mood. They even discovered that sleep is the greatest predictor of children's happiness, more so than friends, family, sports and so on.
Basically, the foundation of a happy child is healthy sleep.
Dr Jon Quach, while explaining the outcome of the study, also mentioned that a lack of sleep can lead to adverse effect on the child such as behavioural and emotional problems, a lack of concentration and an overall feeling of dissatisfaction.
Getting your child to sleep is not always as simple as just laying him in bed. As kids develop, their environment may have an effect on how much sleep they get. For instance, kids that experience or witness violence in the home, deal with bullying at school or suffer some other mental health problems may find it difficult to get good sleep. And then, of course, there are kids who are just not great sleepers.
If you want to help your children get more sleep, you may want to try the following tips:
- Keep them moving during the day by encouraging exercises. This tires out the body, making them more likely to sleep better at night.
- Turn off all phones, computer, television and so on, at least two hours before bedtime. Exposing kids to blue light at nighttime usually tricks the brain into thinking its daytime. Besides, a child that is playing video games or doing other fun stuff on the internet is less likely to feel sleepy. Try other calming activities before bed like reading or just enjoying family time.
- Keep the child's room dark, quiet and cool. This improves the quality of sleep.
Getting children to sleep is easier said than done especially when you have a night owl. So, don't fret if this process is not always smooth and perfect. It does not have to be an exact science. Just try and figure out exactly what works for a specific child and work around it.