The 4 Reasons Why Your Kids Can’t Sleep At Night {+ How to Fix Them}

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Unexpected hurdles and challenges come with the territory of being a new mother; however, overcoming such obstacles puts you on the path to becoming a better parent.

That being said, some of the most common concerns among new parents are telling in terms of what keeps us up at night regarding our kids. Such concerns include:

  • The inability to handle long, sleepless nights due to your child’s restlessness
  • The concept of being a “perfect,” as parenthood oftentimes feels like some sort of competition
  • Keeping your child healthy, from fighting off the common cold to ensuring they grow up strong

Believe it or not, there’s a common thread between the aforementioned concerns: that is, a good night’s sleep. However, it may not be your sleep that’s most important, but rather that of your child.

If your children have left toddlerhood behind but still can’t get a good night’s sleep, it’s time to diagnose exactly what’s going on in their day-to-day routine to cause such sleep troubles. Figuring out the problem and nipping it in the bud represents a win-win situation for you and your child, but where do you start?

Consider the following symptoms of poor sleep quality and how you can combat them within your home: the solutions may be more straightforward than you think.

Too Much Noise

Noise can take many shapes and forms: from bright lights outside to the buzz of street traffic, there are endless distractions that may be keeping your child up at night. Such distractions can be eliminated with some relatively simple investments such as:

  • Shades and blinds to block out light: also, don’t neglect solutions such as arch blinds for those seemingly hard-to-reach windows
  • A white noise machine, which can be purchased on the cheap, to drown out any distracting sounds from outside
  • An eye-mask as a second line of defense against flashing lights (think: alarm clocks or other electronics)

Too Much Mental Stimulation

Conventional wisdom tells us that we should avoid looking at screens, either on the computer, phone or television, immediately before bedtime. You should apply the same rules to your child and encourage them to get into a routine where they do something productive such as read a book before bed. Reading can help calm your child versus television and games which often causes our minds to race.

Not Enough Physical Stimulation

Exercise is a surefire way to help improve your child’s health; likewise, regular physical activity can ensure your child is worn out by the time bedtime rolls around. Try to avoid allowing your child to get too riled up before bed, and instead opt for some quiet time instead.

Too Many Naps

Also, try to avoid allowing your child to excessively nap during the day. While this may represent a much needed break for you, in many cases naps can have a negative impact on your child’s ability to fall asleep during the night.

Finding the root of your child’s sleeping problems takes some investigative work on your part. That being said, the sooner you discover what’s keeping them up at night, the sooner you can take steps to eliminate the problem once and for all.

Mum’s Two Cents

Putting the little ones to bed can be rather tricky. I experienced falling asleep myself while waiting for my little one to go to zzzz land when he was still little. Considering the things mentioned above, you might just be getting less episodes and stress when putting your child to sleep at night. Sweet dreams!

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22 Comments

  1. These are good tips. From my experience, it is wise not to have much conversation with the child if they wake during the night but to check whether they are not ill and if not, tell them to go to sleep. My children didn’t wake much so when they did it was usually because they were ill. The main thing is to be firm but fair. Oh and a bedtime story is always a good idea too.

  2. I have a hard to sleeping due to too much mental stimulation. It is true that we should regulate our activities in order to sleep soundly. Too many naps are also a no-no especially that it will make not only kids, but also grown ups to develop an irregular sleeping pattern. Very informative list by the way.

  3. i agree with these, they are all true as I have a little one and also look for tips on how to get a baby to sleep. Lucky for us our little one started sleeping through the night at 5 months already! Exercise and fresh air goes a long way!

    1. You’re lucky, not most babies have regular sleeping patterns when they are 5 months old! Yes, a lot of physical activities and exposure to nature go a long way!

  4. This is very helpful and interesting, I have to admit I didn’t have an idea. This will certainly help many concerned moms and their kids to have a restful night of sleep.

  5. These are excellent tips for handling children with difficulty sleeping. If I could add, some other factors include:

    Food. Depending on the type of food eaten, optimal nutrition plays a key role in the natural sleep-wake cycle. It is not only the number of hours of sleep but the quality of sleep itself that is important.

    Emotion. Children grow up fast. While they develop physically, they do not fully understand emotion. So any emotion, be it positive or negative, affects a child’s behavior, including sleep.

    Just two more of many reasons why children have difficulty sleeping at night. :)

    Somehow related because I have sleep issues lately too: https://www.amazinglifedaily.com/sleep-deprivation-irregular-sleep-cycle/

    1. Thank you for these valuable inputs. I agree with you about food and emotion affecting a child’s sleep pattern. The food children eat does affect their energy level and contribute to difficulty of falling asleep at night. Different emotions also do the same thing.

  6. Hay naku! My ever recurring problem.. baby always sleeps late, minsan nauuna pa ako.. But yeah maybe because of too much nap times.. She’s only three and ididn’t want to deprive her of sleep. Kaya lang now that she started school, i guess it’s really about time that we start training her differently.. Para pag nada big school na adjusted na sya..

    1. Totoo. We also constantly struggle waking up too early since I am nocturnal. Best to train Cassie to sleep early at night so she can have an early start the next day.

  7. My eldest is fine when it comes to getting him to sleep. It’s my youngest who still needs some effort on my part. It’s hit and miss most times, even with the calm down routine at night of a gentle massage and a book. Sometimes I think I need to be creative, haha!

    1. It has always been a hit-and-miss with my little boy back in the days. Haha! I am sure you will find something that works best for both of you real soon :)

  8. It is one of my dilemmas too lately. My son is having difficulties in sleeping early at night. I am not sure if what keeps him awake when he doesn’t sleep that long on his siesta every day. Maybe I guess I need to figure out what could it be. I may consider your reasons here and I’ll definitely apply on how to fix them. Hopefully, this answers my problems.

    1. Getting them to bed early is really very tricky. It is also my regular problem with my little man. The naps should be timed perfectly so they won’t have difficulty falling asleep at night. Hope you figure it out soon enough, good luck! :)

  9. ah those gadgets are the culprits haha.. we had the same problem with my little brother who finds it so hard to sleep at night because of all the gadgets that keeps him awake and busy. Maybe my mom should start refraining him from these gadgets every night!

    1. Yes, the deal is children get way too much stimulation from these gadgets, thus, making it very difficult to fall asleep at night. I guess the key is to limit your brother’s screen time at night. With my little man, I only allow him to use his tablet during weekends and not during nighttime. :)

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