Sleep is essential for anyone, more so for a growing child. As a parent or a child’s caregiver, you must ensure enough sleep is happening daily to support their overall health.
Because if the child is sleeping less than they should, they might not reach their full potential and might even suffer from illnesses.
Too little sleep is not healthy, as with too much sleep. You must be able to strike the right balance. And more importantly, let your child sleep at the right time.
This post will explore the science behind the importance of sleep for your little one. If you need something to help your child sleep comfortably, consider a sleep sack designed for babies and toddlers.
This wearable blanket can help them sleep better without the risk of suffocation. This way, you can also sleep soundly at night.
How Much Sleep Does A Preschooler Need?
Children between the ages of 3 and 5 need at least 10 to 13 hours of sleep daily, including daytime naps and nighttime sleep. Receiving the right amount of sleep improves emotional, mental, and cognitive development.
Children who consistently get the right amount of sleep daily have better attention spans, can remember better, and have impressive learning abilities. On the contrary, those who don’t are constantly irritable, have behavioral issues, and have difficulty regulating their emotions.
You may often wonder why your toddler becomes cranky in the afternoon and refuses to listen to anything. But they wake up happy and energetic when they get to nap, even for an hour.
Or how your child, like clockwork, would be irritable after dinner. These emotional outbursts signal their body that it’s time to rest and sleep, and tomorrow will be better.
To help them sleep soundly, you must establish a consistent bedtime routine that this post will explore briefly. A consistent bedtime routine will benefit them and have a lasting impact until they grow.
Why Is A Consistent Bedtime Routine Important?
A routine consists of a sequence of actions followed in a particular order. It provides a child structure and predictability that will eventually reduce their stress and anxiety.
One study published in 2018 showed that aside from making the kids sleep longer and reducing their nighttime awakenings, a consistent bedtime routine promises overall development and well-being.
Beyond enhanced sleep, there’s better language development, heightened literacy, an improvement in the child’s emotional and behavioral regulation, and a growth in the parent-child attachment.
The routine helps your child wind down and signals their body to prepare for bedtime, both physically and mentally.
A routine makes the task easier for any parent or caregiver as the child. The child is less likely to insist on playing with their toys or watching another episode of their favorite cartoon, as they can’t resist the urge to close their heavy eyes and sleep.
Tips For Establishing Healthy Sleep Habits For Your Four-Year-Old
Even as a baby, you follow a specific sleep schedule for your child.
Enforcing this schedule consistently becomes even more critical during the toddler stage. Healthy sleep habits will be crucial for their development.
By following these guidelines, you can support their growth spurt and witness their transformation into healthy individuals. Follow these habits:
- Establish a consistent bedtime routine – A consistent bedtime routine is a set of activities you may follow preceding sleep. It can include hygiene practices such as warm showers and brushing teeth. They are followed by reading them a book or singing their favorite lullaby.
- Set regular bedtime – To regulate their body clock and promote better sleep, set a time and follow it consistently.
- Create a sleep-conducive environment – Keep the child’s room dark, quiet, and comfortable.
- Limit screen time before bed – Avoid using digital devices before bedtime, as the blue light emitted by these devices will interfere with your child’s circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm is the body’s internal biological clock that dictates the body’s sleep-wake cycle. The blue light from the devices can trick the brain into thinking that it’s still daytime making your child resist sleep.
- Encourage physical activity during the day – An active child will fall asleep more easily at night. Allow them to run, jump, play, and dance instead of just sitting all day with their tablets.
- Avoid soda and junk food – Soda has caffeine that can disrupt your child’s sleep, while junk foods are high in sugar, calories, and fat and can result in an increase in blood sugar levels affecting the melatonin production in the body.
By following these healthy sleep habits, you can ensure that your child will have better sleep, be well-rested, and be ready to face the next day’s challenges.
What Time Should Your Four-Year-Old Go To Bed?
Four-year-olds may be attending preschool at their age. Therefore, if they need to be in school by 8 am, they must wake up at 7 am to prepare for the day.
In that case, a bedtime between 7 pm and 9 pm is appropriate.
Getting the right amount of sleep is essential for a thriving preschooler to cope better emotionally, physically, and mentally. It might be challenging in the beginning.
But once you’ve established your routine and instilled excellent habits in them, you might be surprised that they’ll sleep independently and won’t need your cuddles and songs before bedtime.