Family • Wellbeing • Adventure

Tuesday 4 July 2023

3 Reasons Why Your Tween Isn't Sleeping Great

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You hit a good run, and then something happens. Every child has sleep problems in some form or another, but we can drive ourselves crazy wondering why all of a sudden they decided not to sleep. Some kids start sleeping through from an early age, but then hit a few bumps about a year or so in. But then there are some kids who start this in the eighth, ninth year, and even beyond. What are some of the common reasons our children cannot sleep?

A Poor Sleep Environment

When your child hits 7 or 8, this is when everything starts to ramp up in their lives. From homework to extracurricular activities and sports, which can mean that bedtime is pushed out too late, and we end up over-scheduling our children, which leaves them exhausted but crucially overtired, making it more difficult for them to fall asleep. We should optimise their sleep environment, and it all begins with the bed. Any bed shop will be able to guide you towards the best sleeping solutions for your child and this could mean replacing the bed completely or simply swapping it out for a new mattress. In addition, you must focus on a more predictable routine and, of course, minimising technology around bedtime.

Increase in Anxiety

When your child hits seven and they're getting things like homework, their social environment is changing because of other friends pushing boundaries, and other family commitments can all contribute to an overactive brain. If your child is feeling more anxious, it is important to find some way to maintain predictability. This is easier said than done, but this is where going to bed and waking up at the same time can make a big difference. Because if your child is associating bedtime and waking up with comfort, this will, over time, help them to associate bed as a more comfortable environment which is safe and secure. We can easily dismiss the notion of anxiety when our children are very young, but it is far more productive to give them some extra comfort, especially when everything else in their lives can seem so chaotic.

Their Diet

When your child turns 7 or 8, they've spent a good few years in school and having to deal with numerous pressures, especially peer pressure, can contribute to their anxieties. It's at this point that we have to look at the foods they're consuming inside and outside of school. If they are eating sugary foods too close to bedtime, this is going to have an impact on their sleep quality. Additionally, watching too much TV before bed could disrupt your child's sleep. As simple as it sounds, you've got to incorporate some form of bedtime routine. Additionally, make sure that they are practising consistent sleep patterns and provide a calming environment. If your child is particularly wired, giving them cues to calm down can help them over time to associate bedtime with relaxation.

When our tweens don't start sleeping well, it can be easy to dismiss this as a passing thing, but it could be more deeply rooted than we realise.

K Elizabeth xoxox

*Collaborative Post

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