7 Things That Might Be Keeping Your Child Awake at Night
There's no denying it's frustrating when they wake up during the night
21 July 2017
A difficult part of parenting is undoubtedly when your child keeps waking up at night, and you can't figure out exactly why.
Sometimes, they might just be too energetic to sleep - but sometimes, there might be a cause that you haven't thought of yet.
So to help you figure out what's going on with your mini-me, here's 7 things that might be keeping them awake at night so you can be on your way to getting a full nights sleep.
Whether they're a young toddler or an older child losing their baby teeth, teething is a painful experience - even adults can appreciate just how horrible a pain in our mouth can be. As a result, this may cause no sleep for your child. So if they're struggling, we suggest you speak to your child's pediatrician about a pain reliever that can be used while they sleep.
Turn off the TV
Nowadays, it's easy to place your child in front of the TV while you quickly clean the house or make tea. But this might actually be doing more harm than good. If your child becomes over-stimulated before bedtime, which is often the case with cartoons and TV games, they might struggle to fall asleep, and even wake up during the night. Nip this in the bud by switching off all devices at least 2 hours before bedtime, to help your child unwind.
When is the last time that you read the labels of what your child is eating? They might be getting an extra surge of energy from their snacks before bedtime without you even knowing! Be careful for sugary snacks or caffeine in tea, coffee and chocolate. If they want to eat or drink something before bed, stick to warm milk or water.
Sleeping in a room that is too stuffy or too cold can easily influence your child’s sleeping patterns. Humans generally sleep better in a cooler temperature so make sure that the temperature in your child's room is at a comfortable temperature ranging from 16⁰C - 24⁰C. If your child is still young and struggling to moderate his or her own temperature, then try keeping the room at about 20⁰C.
It is fun to cuddle with your pet when your child heads off to dreamland, but this might not be the best thing for your child. They might move around during the night and often wake up much earlier than them in the mornings. While moving about or playing in the room, they might wake up your child’s much needed sleep.
Do you leave a light on to help your child fall asleep and then later on, switch off the light before heading to bed yourself? This simple change in their sleeping environment can disturb your child’s sleep. You can get them a light night if they prefer to sleep with a light otherwise, teach them from the beginning to sleep without any lights. This will help you, your child and the whole house get some sleep.
Night terrors are not quite the same as nightmares. Night terrors are when your child bolts upright in bed in the middle of the night, scream or even sleep walk without being fully awake. Don’t try to wake your child while they are having a night terror. Rather sit with them and wait for it to pass. Try to position yourself between your child and anything that might appear dangerous such as the headboard. Also ensure that everything is picked up from the ground before going to bed in case your child starts sleep walking.
Understanding what the reason is behind your child waking up at night, is the first step to helping them sleep through the night. Keep a journal of things that you have ruled out and what helps them to sleep. Soon you will be able to help your child sleep through the night and have a much happier household who can, in turn, also sleep.