Unlocking the secrets of the snooze
straightforward and surgery can be performed to have them removed,” Swan says. “What is more complex is if it’s something like obesity, which requires a significant behaviour change, e, not just in the child but usually lly the whole family.” HAVING a baby that sleeps through the night is one of those milestones parents proudly tick off. But what happens when your child has still not mastered getting a good night sleep? Paediatric sleep consultant Cheryl Fingleson says there are four main categories parents need to focus on to ensure sweet dreams. 1) Drowsy but awake: this is the ideal state to induce a good sleep. 2) Consistency: if you want children to establish good habits, consistency is key. If we do the same thing every day, such as head to bed at roughly the same time, your body starts to expect it. 3) Routine: children respond to routines, especially when you are trying to establish a good sleep pattern. Try to have dinner at a similar time each night, followed by a simple routine that children will recognise as the path to bedtime. This may include having a bath or shower, brushing teeth, reading a book, then a hug and a kiss before bed. 4) Sleep window: when you feel drowsy the sleep hormone melatonin is released to ease you into sleep. But if you ignore those signals, your body re-boosts by releasing the adrenaline hormone cortisol and you can become overtired and unable to get to sleep. Fingleson says one of the biggest disrupters to a good night sleep for both adults and children is engaging in screen time too close to bed time. “The blue light emitted by your screens — and that includes phones, iPads, computers and the television — works as a trigger to stay awake,” Fingleson says. “It wires your b brain to stay focused. I advise my clients c with children to have a r rule that they won’t use scre screens for at least 30 to 60 minutes prior to bed bedtime.” A few extra pointers th that may work, she says, are to keep the bedroom relatively tidy to induce a feeling of calm; keep the temperature level (cooler rather t than overheated is b best); and to have a co completely dark bedr bedroom.