On average, school-aged children up to the age of 12 should get about ten hours of sleep a night. Ten consecutive hours of sleep, however, can be difficult to achieve, even for a kid. Although children are usually more resilient than their adult counterparts, sleep deprivation affects their minds and bodies in much the same way as it does their parents. Erlanger, Kentucky dentist Dr. Henry gives these tips for helping your child sleep better at night.

Invite Sleep

Many factors can keep children from the restful sleep they need. If their wakefulness is accompanied by fever, persistent cough, or other signs of illness, you should consult a physician immediately. However, if your child remains awake but appears otherwise healthy, then you may be able help resolve the issue. Create a sleep-friendly environment in your child’s room. Comfortable pajamas and a quiet ambience work wonders at lulling children to sleep. Close the door to your child’s room to block out noise from other members of the household who have not yet gone to bed.

Stick to the Bedtime Schedule

Having your child go to bed at the same time every night can be extremely difficult, but it is worth the effort. Once the body becomes accustomed to knowing when to sleep, it can regulate itself around the sleep schedule and be prepared to rest when it’s time for bed.

It Was Just a Bad Dream

Nightmares are a common source of childhood sleeplessness. If your child is plagued by regular nightmares, try restricting television and video games at least an hour before bed time. Encourage relaxing activities, like reading a book, during their last waking hour or so. If bad dreams persist, seek advice from your child’s physician. There may be another underlying cause for the night terrors.

If your child exhibits signs of sleep deprivation, but does not seem to remain awake at night, mention the issue to Dr. Henry. The problem may be associated with sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that can deprive your child of deep sleep without him/her realizing it.

For more information on sleep disorders, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Darlene Henry, call our Erlanger, Kentucky dentist’s office at (859) 344-8500.