Everyone who has children will have experienced the problem of getting their child to sleep. The following article may go some way to alleviate it.
It’s that time of year when trying to get the little ones off to bed is a near impossible task. Excitement levels are at their maximum thanks to seeing relatives, opening gifts, devouring sugary treats and generally having fun. Yet sleep they must – and soundly too – if their young brains are to develop properly.
“Sleep is the foundation of our health, like exercise and nutrition. Three important things happen in growing children while they are asleep: they produce and secrete the growth hormone, build their immune system, and work on memories, which are the foundation of learning,” says American sleep coach Kim West.
West, who is the author of several books including “Good Night, Sleep Tight: The Sleep Lady’s Gentle Guide to Helping Your Child Go to Sleep, Stay Asleep and Wake Up Happy” and “52 Sleep Secrets for Babies”, was in Bangkok earlier this year and shared her insights and guidelines for good sleep in Thailand with S-Momclub.com.
Parents of older children can help them sleep soundly by establishing a routine of dimming the lighting, turning off external triggers like TV and computers and moving to the sleeping area.
“These social cues trigger the notion of sleeping,” she says. “If the kids are still not sleeping soundly then you need to check that there is no underlying medical condition. Some of the most common symptoms are blocked airways or inflammation in the airways. “Snoring, mouth breathing, sweating during rest not because of the temperature, and restless sleeping can all signal a medical problem so do consult a doctor.”
Children’s sleeping behaviours impact everyone in the family and have effects on their long term physical health, emotions, learning, and temperament. West’s techniques are gentle and do not force the children to do anything against their will but instead allow them to transform step by step and have a quality sleep while parents can also have a full night’s rest.
She suggests waiting until the child is three years old before putting him or her in another room, by which time the child should have been taught to how to fall asleep by themselves.
“Whatever you do, be consistent. If a child cries, sit next to him/her for two or three nights then move to sit a little further away. Within two weeks they should be sleeping through the night,” she says.
West’s simple guideline can be found on her official website and in the Thai language on www.S-MomClub.com/thepowerofsleeping.
(Source: The Nation, Thailand)