Help older children resolve their sleep issues

Help “older” children resolve their sleep issues

Sleep issues are generally related to “babies”’ however, sometimes older children experience them too.

There are plenty of older children (and adults for that matter!) who have trouble sleeping, and who could use a little help getting a good night’s sleep.

Some of the common sleep issues are sleep walking, apnea, wiggly legs or limbs and middle-of-the-night waking.

While dispelling the myth that sleep habits can’t be changed after a certain age, here are some tips for helping your not-so-little one, to develop some great sleep habits.

  • Wean caffeine. Although kids don’t usually, drink coffee, but there’s plenty of caffeine in soda and chocolate candy. If your child is sensitive, cut out caffeine sources after lunch.
  • Stick to a regular bedtime and wake time. “Most kids adapt easily if a bedtime is missed once a week, but more often and you’re asking for trouble,” says Dr. Becker.
  • Limit cell phones. A research from Wayne State University found that adults who were exposed to radiofrequency waves (similar to the ones emitted by cell phones) for three hours before bedtime had a shortened deepest-sleep stage—the time when the body repairs damaged cells. Be sure your child stops texting and talking on cell phones, early in the evening.
  • Skip scary movies. They’re not only arousing, they can lead to nightmares. Unsettling night time dreams also result from a child’s real fears, so open a dialogue (in the light of day) about anything troubling him.
  • Bedtime cues are helpful. End every day the same way: A bath, a snuggle or a book will come to signal “sleepy time”
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