Bedtime tips for parents

Twenty to 30 percent of children of all ages suffer from some sort of sleep disturbance. If your child is one of them, there are dozens of proven and effective ways to help them get better sleep and be more refreshed and alert during the day.

Successful Sleep Strategies for Kids by Dennis Rosen Dennis Rosen, a pediatrician at Harvard Medical School, introduces the latest scientific discoveries in the field of pediatric sleep in his book, Successful Sleep Strategies for Kids, a Harvard Medical School Guide.

Some practical solutions include:

• keeping your child’s bedroom dark, quiet and at a comfortable temperature;
• limiting caffeine intake (soda and chocolate) at least eight hours before bedtime; and
• reducing the intensity of your child’s reading lamp.

And there may be some things you’re already doing, that might not be a good idea – such as playing music.

“The ingenious melodies and rhythms are compelling and call to you even when you’re asleep,” said Dr. Anthony Komaroff, a practicing physician, professor and editor-in-chief of Harvard Health Publications. “And if you play it, but let it stop when the piece ends, your child may notice the sudden absence of music and have trouble falling back to sleep without it.”

Successful Sleep Strategies for Kids also details how to prevent sleepwalking, night terrors and bedwetting.

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