“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” We have grown up hearing this phrase since our childhood but how many of us are actually following it? We know the health benefits of rising early and of following a set routine. That’s why we want our kids to develop the habit of going early to bed and rise early. It’s very easy to cultivate a habit in early childhood because habits formed in childhood remain with us whole life.
If you want to raise your kids as early risers, then you must first develop a habit of early sleeping. Only if they sleep early, they will be able to rise early the next morning. Those who go to bed later tend to wake up later. This article will help you understand why the kids don’t want to sleep early and how to make them early risers since beginning.
Why Kids Are Unable To Go To Bed Early?
Some of the reason why kids are unable to sleep early:
Kids are always in action and sometimes they just don’t want to miss out on the fun or other things happening around them
Let’s blame it on the television! With cartoons and shows airing on TV, most children stay hooked onto screens till late nights
Some children are afraid of being left alone or are scared of nightmares
Modern gadgets of these days prove sleep detesters. Moreover, kids who stay hooked to tabs and mobiles do not get tired or fatigued easily, because of the lack of physical activity. If they are not tired enough to sleep, they will refuse to go to bed
Over exhaustion is another reason why the kids can’t fall asleep. This can happen when a child could not sleep properly owing to a disruption in bedtime routine, travel, or social engagements etc
If the kids are feeling sick, they tend to have disrupted sleep
Oversleeping in the afternoon is big reason for the kids to being awake till late in the night
Some serious sleep problems like insomnia can also make it difficult for the children to sleep
Top Tips To Raise Your Kids As Early Risers
You can start to work on developing this habit as early as two years of their age or when they start going to a playschool. Below are some tips from us to make it easy for you:
Chalk a routine: Get hold of a pen and paper and work out a pattern for your kids to follow during the day. Include what time they will get up, eat, sleep etc. Follow some bed time rituals with the kid like changing into night dress, brushing teeth, reading story book, saying prayer immediately before going to bed
Set times and place: Put the kids to sleep at the same time and same place every day. If you have to make a child sleep somewhere else, make sure he has something to hold on as a comforter – like a soft toy or the favorite blanket
Limit screen time: Switch off the TV hours before they go to sleep. For this, you will also have to let go of the shows that you watch everyday. Once the child sleeps or retires to his room, you can watch TV and unwind yourself
Restrict caffeinated beverages: Don’t give them aerated cold drinks or coffee, tea in the evening. Avoid sugary sweets and drinks as well
Hot milk: A glass of hot milk before sleeping will help them sleep. Milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid which induces sleep. If the kid has pain in the muscles, consider giving him an oil massage before sleep
Help the child relax: Make the surroundings quiet and comfortable before putting your kid to bed; like make sure there is no noise and light entering the bedroom. The temperature of the room should be comfortable for them to sleep, not too cold or hot. If the kid likes, you can give him/her a warm water bath which will help them to sleep
Stress on outdoor play: Children should get enough physical activity during the day like outdoor play or atleast some physical exercise. Make sure your child spends some time on the playground running and playing with other kids. This is not only important to sleep properly but also for the child’s overall development
Make sure the child is not scared: If they are scared of being left alone, you can may be keep the door open so that they are assured that you are near. If the kid insists let him/her sleep with you
Avoid oversleeping: Love the Sunday mornings because no one is going to school? Yeah, we all do, but if you want to inculcate the habit of getting up early in your kids, you must wake them up at the same time every day. Avoid oversleeping
Afternoon nap: For toddlers, who take afternoon nap, try to put them to sleep in the early afternoon and at the same time every day. Avoid oversleeping in afternoon as well, a nap of 2 hours is sufficient for the toddlers. Late afternoon naps should be avoided.
Appreciate and reward: We should occasionally reward them for their good manners/behavior and for following the routine. A kids movie occasionally, visit to the zoo, dine out or whatever they prefer can be given as reward
Consult a doctor: Sometimes there are sleep disorders such as Insomnia, Disturbed Sleep, Narcolepsy because of which they are unable to follow the sleep pattern. If your kid has serious difficulty with sleep and waking up, consult their doctor who may suggest a best way
And last but not the least, don’t make sudden or drastic changes with kids, start slowly, let them get used to for a few days and progress gradually. Avoid being too harsh on your adorable kids when they are suffering from illness. Wait for them to recover fully before they start to follow the routine again.