Sleep quality is important for all humans and especially for growing children. According to the Sleep Foundation, it’s important for toddlers to get 11 to 14 hours of sleep nightly. If you’re currently experiencing sleep issues with your own toddler, you can take various steps to improve your little one’s sleep, including finding the best mattresses for toddlers.
Sleep is especially important for young children since it helps their physical and mental development. That’s why it’s critical to create a sleeping environment that will benefit their sleep/wake cycle.
Sleep and Toddlers
Sleep is critical for children, and they usually spend about 40% of their childhood asleep, according to the Sleep Foundation.
Types of Toddler Sleep
There are technically four stages of sleep, but the main types among toddlers include:
NON-RAPID EYE MOVEMENT (NREM)
This is also known as “quiet” sleep that:
- Restores their energy
- Boosts blood to muscles
- Promotes tissue growth/repair
- Releases hormones for growth/development
RAPID EYE MOVEMENT (REM)
This is also known as “active sleep.” Throughout REM, young brains are active and toddlers dream.
Young babies spend about half their sleeping time in either NREM or REM. The sleep cycle lasts around 50 minutes. However, this figure increases as the baby ages and will be around 90 minutes by preschool age.
While toddlers often sleep nearly two-thirds of the day, their sleep patterns also change. For example, their naps drop to about one per day and last for 1 to 3 hours, which is basically a power nap.
It’s also important for nap times to not be too close to bedtime, since this could negatively affect their sleep quality at night. Here are some quick tips to ensure a good, satisfying naptime for toddlers:
- Invest and find the best mattresses for toddlers
- Schedule naptime around the same time every day
- Schedule activities before naps
- Keep a quiet, soothing routine about 30 minutes before naptime
- Put away gadgets and other toys before naptime
Why Toddlers Might Not Be Sleeping
There are several reasons why toddlers might have problems falling asleep at night. It’s quite common for them to have fears around bedtime, so it’s important to ease their mind so they can sleep soundly.
Causes of Sleep Problems
There are actually several possible causes. For example, they might want to become more independent, which could affect sleep patterns.
There are also changes including physical, mental, and social—all of which can affect the toddler’s ability to get a full night’s sleep. Another possible factor is “separation anxiety,” which causes the young child to worry that they’ll be physically separated from their mother.
There are other possible causes like behavioral issues and daytime sleep issues. There are still other reasons why toddlers might not be getting the sleep they need at night on the best mattresses for kids.
The way to deal with these issues is often quite similar to sleep problems among adults. This involves creating a sleep-friendly environment with items like the best mattresses for kids and also following a sleep schedule.
Sleep Items for Toddler Bedrooms
When designing your toddler’s bedroom to make it sleep-friendly, make sure it has some key elements to help them fall asleep and stay asleep:
Make sure there’s a place to store Legos, dolls, schoolwork/homework, and so on. Clutter can prevent kids from falling asleep since it can negatively affect how they perceive their room before sleeping.
Be sure to switch off the overhead light close to bedtime. A reading light can provide ambient light for reading books, e-books, etc. Meanwhile, a small night light is also helpful so your child won’t be afraid of the dark at night.
This will help to keep the room dark at bedtime and early morning. It can help block out light from street lights, moonlight, and sunlight and provide benefits like if you choose the best mattress for kids.
Tips for Sleeping Environment
Create a Calm/Relaxing Environment
There are different ways you can achieve this goal, including sound machines, e-books, and fun music like Baby Shark. These are all helpful ways to help you to prepare for bedtime.
Keep the Room Dark, Quiet, and Cool
These are all important factors to help your kiddo fall asleep faster. Reducing these elements can help your toddler wind down before bedtime so they can sleep better.
Add Right Bed/Mattress
You can also help your child fall asleep if you choose the best mattress for kids. Make sure the mattress is comfy and supportive. The pillows should also be big yet soft. You can also top off everything with cozy beddings, including sheets, blankets, and quilt.
Tips for sleeping schedule
Teach about Sleep/Bedtime Schedule
It’s important to teach your toddler these issues so they’ll get used to a regular schedule. That includes doing stuff like brushing teeth and unplugging gadgets 1+ hours before bedtime. It’s even better if your child isn’t using electronic gadgets in their bedroom since it can also cause other issues like distracting from studying/homework.
Set a Specific Bedtime
This is critical because it can help your child’s biorhythms (internal clock) get used to sleeping at a certain time. It will also help them wake up around the same time. Meanwhile, if your child sleeps at different times, it can prevent them from getting the dozen or so hours of daily sleep they need.
Start Bedtime Rituals
This includes ones like unplugging gadgets, drinking water, and switching off overhead lights. This should be like clockwork, which can help your little one follow a sleep schedule.
Sleep is critical for toddlers since they need to catch Zs for up to 14 hours daily. You can improve your kiddo’s sleep with basic steps like bedtime schedule, avoiding late-afternoon naps, and finding the best mattresses for toddlers. Learn more here!
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