Is your child staying up past their bedtime? Are they restless? Full of energy? Well some things may be keeping them up that we don’t even realize!
Fruit! Pineapples and citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits, are acidic, which can irritate sensitive bladders. While that slight irritation poses no health risks, it may be forcing your little one to go to the bathroom during the night, possibly multiple times. Your little one's favorite fruits and juices are best consumed earlier in the day. Keep pets out of the bedroom! Dogs and cats are great for cuddling, but not for sleep. Donielle Wilson, a naturopathic doctor who sees many insomnia patients and is working on a book about natural solutions for sleep, says that pets wake up their owners too often. Even little critters like hamsters can get noisy enough to interrupt a kid’s sleep, so Wilson recommends that cages don’t stay in the room, either. Dust frequently! If your child coughs or sneezes while asleep, or after wrapping themselves in their comfy blanket, they may be allergic to dust mites, the tiny microscopic creatures found in just about every home on Earth. Invisible to the naked eye, dust mites live in pillows, comforters and couches. While the mites are harmless to humans directly, they secrete a protein that can irritate our respiratory system. To minimize allergies, wash bedding frequently, avoid feather or down blankets and keep rooms dry and dust-free. Establish a routine! Kids are creatures of habit -- both psychologically and physiologically. They do better with well-established schedules around homework time, dinner time and getting-ready-for-bed time. Create a bedtime routine that eliminates energizing activities and promotes calm and relaxation, such as reading or putting toys away. Too much screen time! Children love swiping on Ipads, phones, computers, etc. However, they emit a Blue Light that decreases the production of sleep melatonin. That messes up the body’s internal clock and may keep our little ones awake longer. Quality family time! Research suggests that sleep can improve simply by spending quality time as a family.