Sleepless in Singapore

Moms and Dads, as soon as you rest your head and get ready for sweet slumber, do you find your little one waking you up? You are not alone. A large quantity of children around the world are having problems sleeping.

Get solid quality sleep! Get solid quality sleep!

Moms and Dads, as soon as you rest your head and get ready for sweet slumber, do you find your little one waking you up? You are not alone. A large quantity of children around the world are having problems sleeping. The worst part of it? Such a sleepless pattern can bring about problems for the little tykes in the future.

The Australian researchers at the University of Queensland in Brisbane investigated young children from birth to 21 years old and found that those who had sleeping impairments were almost two times more likely to be obese as young adults than those who had proper sleep.

How?

"There are possible reasons how children who struggle to sleep might grow fatter. First, children who sleep less have more time in which to eat. Second, lack of sleep results in tiredness and less physical activity during the day, causing less energy expenditure than energy intake. Or less physical activity may result in reduced sleep quality or duration. As well as affecting the hormones regulating-appetite, reduced sleep could also mean that lower levels of the growth hormone somatotrophin were released,"" explains lead researcher, Dr Abdullah Al Mamun.

Where is Mr. Sandman?

There are many reasons why children are not able to fall off to sleep. Firstly, they could be worried about something. Perhaps, a bully at school or an important test. It is important to identify the stress factor. Talk to your child’s teachers, friends and observe him for a while. What he is not saying might be said through his actions.

Another factor that might be contributing to lack of sleep is video / computer games. Violence and graphics are not a good combination for your child to be having before bedtime. The excitement of the games can be the reason you child has trouble calming down and sleeping.

Lastly, what is your child eating before sleeping? We all know sugar is the devil before bedtime but how many of us are unconsciously still feeding Junior that? Surprisingly, quite a few! Mrs Chloe Kwong used to give her 6 year old daughter a small candy bar after dinner, as a reward for good behaviour at least 3 times a week. On those nights, she watched little Clarissa getting all excited and bouncing off the furniture and finally succumbing to sleep, 2 hours past bedtime. Give your kids candy but know when to do so.

Curing Sleeplessness

It’s definitely no easy feat getting Junior to sleep if he decides not to but that doesn’t mean you should give up! Yes we know your bed looks inviting after a long day at the office. And yes, we understand that Junior has more time to rest in the daytime but Mums and Dads wake up (no pun intended)! You don’t want your child developing this into a habit now do you? He has plenty of time to do that when he goes to secondary school and has to feverishly prepare for that dreaded Chemistry test. So in the meantime, try these following steps that can get your little one some shut eye.

Establish a regular bedtime routine that allows your child time to relax before the lights go out.

Follow a bedtime routine that is calming, such as taking a warm bath or reading.

Watch your child’s food intake, especially before bedtime.

Throw that T.V out! Research shows that kids who have one in their rooms sleep less.

Use the bed just for sleeping - not doing homework, reading, playing games, or talking on the phone. That way, your little one can train his body to associate the bed with sleep.

Nothing’s working!

Alright, don’t panic. If what you’re doing still isn’t helping, then perhaps, it’s time to call in the professionals! See a psychologist about the stress your child could be facing or see a doctor who is a sleep specialist. Don’t ignore your child’s bad sleeping habits!

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