*This is a collaborative post*
If you’re a mom who has some rowdy kids, you know they can run you ragged. Who needs aerobics classes or a treadmill when you’ve got a five-year-old running circles around you? Keeping up with your little angel is probably the best exercise program you’ll ever need.
Sometimes, though, rambunctious can cross the line into hyperactive. You may feel like your child has too much energy, and you might struggle to get them to sleep at bedtime.
If so, there are some options for you to consider. Here is a little list that we compiled, which should help you.
You might have heard of melatonin before. You can use melatonin to help your child get to sleep in some instances. However:
Of the various pills and supplements you can give your child to help them sleep, melatonin is one of the most benign. That’s because it is all-natural. The human body already produces it when it gets dark.
It can be useful with active kids, but you don’t want to give it to them every night, or they might start to depend on it. You should give it to them if you’re traveling to try and keep their sleep patterns in line.
You can also use it if they’re ill, and you want them to get some rest so they can recuperate.
Try to Set the Scene
If your child is a poor nighttime sleeper, then you should do all you can to facilitate the process. That means:
Some kids and adults can’t sleep if it’s too light in a room. You can get some blackout curtains to draw over the windows if that is an issue.
You can give your child a light snack before bed if they say they’re hungry. Something like carrot sticks or some peanut-butter crackers would be appropriate.
The room should also be neither too hot nor too cold. Ask your child if you’ve set a suitable temperature at bedtime.
Power Down Devices
You should also be sure that you have turned off all electronics in the child’s room. The TV should be off, and any desktop or laptop computers. If the child is old enough for a smartphone, then you need to power it down so the child will not feel the temptation to play with it.
You should also try not to have the TV on in the other room, or anything else that makes noise. If you must watch TV or something else, turn the volume down.
You should also have a “no screens” rule an hour before bed. You can try reading a story to the child for a while instead. This allows their young mind to calm down and prepare for sleep.
Avoid Caffeine and Sugar
Avoiding caffeine and sugar is another thing that you can do if your little one cannot sleep. They should avoid too many sugary snacks and caffeine drinks anyway, but that’s critical right before bedtime.
If your child’s bedtime is eight o’clock, for instance, then they should never have caffeine or sugar after five. They might try to bargain with you, but you’re in charge, and you know how vital sleep is for their growth.
If they want a sugary treat or a soda, then lunchtime would be better for you to allow them to have that.
Other Chemical Options
There are other chemical options that will help your child sleep. For example, Tylenol PM or Benadryl will put them right out.
The problem is that these drugs have potential side effects, and also, if you use them often, your child will become dependent on them. That’s not something you want to happen.
There are natural options besides melatonin, such as valerian. Most medical professionals regard it as harmless, but again, talk to the child’s doctor before giving it to them.
If none of this seems to work very well, then speak to the child’s doctor. They might have some additional suggestions you can try.
You do not want to get in the habit of giving your child or children drugs every night, even the all-natural ones. It’s far better to establish a regular bedtime routine with no chemicals if that’s at all possible.