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One of the most difficult aspects of parenting is making sure your children get enough sleep. There are days when you just can’t seem to make your children go to bed on time, and as result of their erratic sleep schedule, they become groggy and lethargic, or fall asleep at odd times. Here are some things that could be keeping your child up at night and what you can do to help them sleep well:
You may be surprised to hear this, but that hot chocolate you gave your child is actually keeping them from falling asleep. Anything with cocoa contains caffeine and that is a strict no-no before sleeping. Caffeine works as a stimulant that disrupts the sleep cycle of the body and prevents them from falling asleep. Switch to a glass of warm milk mixed with haldi as a nightcap for your kids.
Avoid giving your children processed sugar or white flour based food before bed. Pizzas, laccha paranta, and roomali roti are fine once in a while, but avoid making anything with white flour for dinner, since it takes longer for the body to break down. Sweets and dessert also increases blood glucose. This results in the kids becoming hyperactive, making it difficult for them to fall asleep. Switch to lighter meals for dinner and give them fruits like apples and pears for dessert. Not only will this satiate their craving for sweets, these fruits are fibrous, which means they aid in digestion.
It is better if you don’t let your child sleep during the day. But if they do feel sleepy, allow them to nap for only 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, they enter the deep sleep stage and if they are woken up during that time, they feel groggy and cranky. Restrict Use Of Gadgets
We’re surrounded by innumerable gadgets and kids these days can’t seem to live without their iPads or gaming consoles or computers. However, these gadgets are keeping your children from falling asleep. Do not allow them to use smartphones or other devices before going to sleep. Instead, try talking to them. Engage in simple conversations in the evening. Read morally inspiring stories to them, which will motivate them and instill the right values (sanskaar).
The best way to make your children stick to their sleep schedule is to lead by example. If you show them that you avoid certain things before bed and always stick to your sleep schedule, they will learn to do the same by default. If you’re up till late at night watching TV shows and movies or surfing the Internet, your child will grow up not appreciating the importance of discipline.
Parenting is difficult, and there’s no shortcut to getting things done. But with a little bit of patience, you’ll be able to get through to them and guide them on the right path.
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