Many mothers complain about the sleeplessness of their children and the difficulty of persuading them of going early to bed which causes a lot of upset and inconvenience to them, especially after a day full of housework and other actions that await them in the evening.
One of the studies that was conducted in the University of Utah mentioned that going early to bed spreads basically among the aged, but this pattern of sleep may be hereditary in some families.
Researchers who presented their search results in the annual conference in Montreal explained that some people prefer to wake up early because of calmness, and their readiness to work in such a time, whereas others consider the early morning very disturbing.
Search results showed that the phenomenon of going early to bed has been the habit of some families from one generation to another, pointing out that only one gene that is inherited from one of the parents is enough for the child to acquire the sleep pattern of the family.
Here are some methods to help you persuade your child to go early to bed:
* Be calm:
Be smart and calm at the same time with your child in case it refuses to go to sleep through speaking calmly with it without convulsion along with holding fast to your situation.
* Do not sleep beside your child:
It is better not to accustom your child to sleep while you are by its side because it will become a bad habit that is hard to get rid of it in the future.
The best lesson you can teach it is to go early to sleep.
This may be done by following some night behaviors such as: Bathing, reading a book, or hearing a beloved song. By this way, a child shall know the time of its sleep in addition to making it feel safe by saying that you will come back if it stays five minutes alone on bed.
* Making choices before sleeping:
In order to help your child feel independent, let it choose from some acceptable choices such as a story it wishes to listen to before sleeping or listening to some Ayahs or invocations, or the nightclothes it loves to wear; the objective is to meet one or two of its needs along with explaining your happiness with its choices.
* No more wasting of time:
Children's requests increase rapidly at bedtime such as asking for a glass of water or something else to make you by its side the longest possible period.
If you feel that your child is wasting time by these requests, do not give it that chance but tell it to go to sleep immediately.
In the future, you may collect all its requests and make them pre-sleeping requirements, such as putting a glass of water on the table, telling it to go to bathroom before sleep, hugging and kissing it.
* A bigger bed:
After the age of four, move your child to sleep in a bigger bed, which will make it feel that it has grown up a little.
Moreover, you have to seize this opportunity for reminding the child in this age of doing all its basic needs alone and go to bed in its proper time without the need to someone to tell it that.
For more methods, Dr. Hassan Shamsy Basha guides us to a set of solutions to the problem of sleeplessness at children and their rejection to go to bed saying:
• Estimate the need of your child to sleep and do not send it to bed very early.
• Fix a certain time for sleep with some flexibility.
• Do not say to it: "You may wake up at night because you were obedient all day long" because that will make it feel that going to bed in the fixed time is a kind of punishment.
• Try to draw the attention of your child to the time of bed in the suitable time in order to be psychologically and practically ready for sleep.
• Make its bed encouraging for sleep by making it tidy, beautiful, and contain its preferable toys.
Make the bedtime funny for the child by narrating a story to it before going to sleep.
Share things with it when it goes to bed such as reciting the Surah of Ikhlas and Al Mu`awidhatin.
It was reported on the authority of `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that "Whenever the Prophet (peace be upon him) went to bed every night, he used to cup his hands together and blow over it after reciting Surat Al-Ikhlas, Surat Al-Falaq and Surat An-Nas, and then rub his hands over whatever parts of his body he was able to rub, starting with his head, face and front of his body. He used to do that three times."
• Take into consideration its feelings and emotions, so leave the light on or the door open if it wants so.
• Do not force your child to sleep through frightening with goblins, thieves, dogs, ghoul, or something of the like which will increase the fear of the child and its psychological worry.
• Do not use violence or force your child to sleep because sometimes you need flexibility in determining the time of your child's sleep. No doubt that insisting on putting your child into bed in a certain time without taking into account its conditions and psychological state and without helping it to form the habit of going to sleep in that certain time regularly may be a reason for causing damage in its personality in the future.
• When the child leaves the bed again, try to put it again into bed nicely but strictly. If it is thirsty, you may water it and put it again into bed. If you feel that the child is afraid, calm it down and understand its fears. Make sure that your child goes to sleep while it is happy and do not put it into bed while it is sad, and try to provide it an atmosphere that is filled with love and tenderness in order to sleep well.
• Train your children for the proprieties of sleep such as performing ablution, sleeping on the right hand side, and placing the hand under the cheek during sleep. Al Bara' ibn `Azib narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said to a man: "Whenever you go to bed perform ablution like that for Salah, lie on your right side and say: Allahumma aslamtu wajhi ilaika, wa fauwadtu amri ilaika, wa alja'tu Zahri ilaika raghbatan wa rahbatan ilaika. La Malja' wa la manja minka illa ilaika. Allahumma amantu bikitabika-l-ladhi anzalta wa bina-biyika-l ladhi arsalta, (O Allah! I surrender to You and entrust all my affairs to You and depend upon You for Your Blessings both with hope and fear of You. There is no fleeing from You, and there is no place of protection and safety except with You. O Allah! I believe in Your Book (the Qur'an) which You have revealed and in Your Prophet (Muhammad (peace be upon him)) whom You have sent)." Hudhayfah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: "When the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, wanted to go to sleep, he put his hand under his right cheek and said: 'O Allah, protect me from Your punishment on the Day you raise up Your slaves.'"
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