Alaska Sleep Education Center

How to Put a Child to Bed after Active Learning

Posted by Jessica Kaminski on Mar 17, 2022 1:53:00 AM

Sweet child sleeping soundly after an active day.

As parents, we all know the drill when it comes to putting children to sleep after a long day. They struggle and insist that they're not ready for bed when in fact, they should be halfway to dreamland already. 

Children need all the sleep they can get in order for them to function and learn properly. So, how can you help your child get this much-needed rest after active learning? 

The key to doing this is by establishing good sleeping habits. While there aren't any hard and fast rules for sleeping habits, here are a few that can help you put your child to bed faster:

Get sleep troubles out of the way

Picture this scenario: it's 9 pm on a school night - way past your child's bedtime. They've had a very long day of learning both at school and via online platforms such as Brighterly. However, they're still not ready to go to bed and would throw a tantrum each time you suggest a nap. What could be the cause? We'll answer that for you. 

In some cases, children might feel reluctant to go to bed simply because they're experiencing sleeping troubles. As a parent, you'll certainly have better luck with putting your child to bed once you eliminate these roadblocks. 

But how can you tell if your child has sleep struggles? Well, here are a few tell-tale signs: 

  • Trouble falling asleep: This is obviously a no-brainer. If your child keeps trying to fall asleep without success, they're definitely experiencing a sleep struggle, and it's advisable to discuss this with a doctor. 
  •  Loud or heavy breathing: While loud breathing may seem normal, it could also be an indicator that something is wrong. 
  • Behavioral changes: Typically, when a child struggles with sleep, this often plays out in their behavior. They become cranky, sleepy, or overly tired. If your child displays any or all of that behavioral changes, it may be a sign that they're struggling with sleep. 

Set bedtime routines

Trying to get your hyperactive child to bed after a long day of school? Maybe it's time to set bedtime routines. Children love routines, and an appropriate bedtime routine can help get them to bed faster than any magic trick you could pull off. According to a study by J.A Mindell et al., having a consistent nighttime routine helps to improve sleep in children. 

Wondering how it works? Well, it's quite simple, really. Having a routine that culminates into bedtime gives them a sense of control over their lives. In the same vein, it also helps their mind and body to associate routine activities with bedtime, including the traditional design of the home everywhere. As such, once they begin the routine (e.g., brushing their teeth or putting on their PJs), it sends a message to their brain, and they'll begin to feel sleepy. 

Easy peasy! 

Set sleep schedules

Without sleep schedules, it's easy for kids to get insufficient sleep, which could affect their day-to-day lives. Much like bedtime routines, a sleep schedule plays a huge role in helping children get to bed, especially after a long day of school. 

Set a regular bedtime for them and ensure that you stick to it. For instance, you could set their bedtime at 8:00 pm on school nights and 8:30 on weekends. It may be hard for them to adjust at first, but in no time, you won't have any difficulty with getting them to bed once it's bedtime. 

In the same vein, it's important to set regular waking up times to ensure that they don't oversleep and miss the most important part of their day. 

Layout the right environment

Typically, after a long day of learning or playing kids' math games, children might feel overstimulated, and this affects their sleep. A great way to combat this hurdle is by ensuring that their sleeping environment is set properly. This way, they'll feel encouraged to go to bed. 

Ensure that the house is quiet and their room is dark. If they're scared of the dark, you might want to adjust their lighting or switch on a bedside lamp. Also, turn off any devices that may distract them, such as an iPad or tablet. 

In the same vein, to encourage them to sleep, ensure that the room temperature is set just right. During winter, warm blankets and thick PJs should be the order of the day. If it's a hot summer night, you'll need to put on a fan or cooling unit and dress your kid in light clothes. This way, they'll be soothed right to sleep. 

Ensure that they have their best friends beside them

Bedtime can feel like a death sentence for children who suffer from separation anxiety. They'll struggle to sleep because they feel alone and lonely. So how can you get past this hurdle? A great way to do this is by providing their favorite teddy bear, weighted blanket, or squishy animal. This will help to soothe and comfort them while making them feel secure at the same time. 

An alternative way to help soothe your child to sleep is by lying beside them until they finally sleep off. For children who have issues sleeping, having a parent beside them can be reassuring and provide them with a sense of security. This way, they'll be able to fall asleep immediately without feeling anxious or scared. 

Meet their demands                                     

Kids always have a nighttime demand: a cuddle, their favorite song, a snack, etc. If you're trying to get your child to bed after a long day of school, it's advisable to meet their reasonable demands. Sing them a lullaby if they want or read their favorite bedtime story. 

However, it's important to remain firm even while heeding these requests. Don't let them stay up longer to listen to one more story or lullaby. Remember: the earlier they go to bed, the easier they'd find their bedtime routine after a while. 

Final Thoughts 

Are you trying to get your kid to bed with no success? You're not alone. Most parents often struggle with getting their kids to sleep after a busy day. Luckily, there are numerous strategies that can help you combat this hurdle and help your child sleep better. 

Try to lay a firm bedtime routine for your kids and ensure that they stick to it consistently. This way, they'll begin to associate those activities with bedtime and find it easier to sleep once they've completed the tasks. You might also want to consider seeing a doctor if your child keeps showing signs of sleep troubles. 

We hope these tips help. Good luck! 

Your effort in guiding your students in developing good sleep habits is a good step towards high-performing students. Besides this, you are instilling skills and knowledge that will help them now and in the future. Go ahead and prepare lectures about the importance of sleep, and teach them healthy sleep habits to practice at home. You can also hire experts to write articles on the scientific aspect of sleep. Help your students make self-observations of the impact of sleep on their performance the next day. Lastly, extend this information to their parents.

FREE Pediatric Sleep Studies e-book

Author's Bio: Jessica Kaminski is a mathematics tutor with almost a decade of experience in the educational sector. A true academic, Jessica is passionate about helping children learn to love and understand math.  When she's not teaching, you can find her reading her favorite books. Author Jessica Kaminski

Topics: alaska sleep clinic, children, sleep and children, Pediatrics, OSA in children

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