5 Reasons Why Your Child Isn’t Sleeping Through The Night, and Why A Weighted Blanket Might Be The Solution


When there is a parent with dark circles under their eyes and droopy eyelids, slightly frazzled hair, lethargic movements. And the sighing. You know how exhausted they feel when they close their eyes and inhale deeply.

That appearance means one thing: sleep trouble.

Either they aren’t sleeping well, or one of their kids is awake during the night.

Aside from infants and sick children, that sleepless pattern is exhausting and stressful. But there is a solution to your kid’s sleeping woes.

How much sleep your child actually needs

Before we jump in, let’s cover some of the basics.

Most children need 9-12 hours of sleep per night. The National Sleep Foundation outlines the following suggestions:

  • Toddlers ages 1-2: average 11-14 hours (minimum of 9, maximum of 16)
  • Preschoolers ages 3-5: average 10-13 hours (minimum 8, maximum 14)
  • Young children ages 6-13: average 9-11 hours (minimum 7, maximum 12)
  • Teenager ages 14-17: average 8-10 hours (minimum 7, maximum 11)
  • Young adults ages 17-25: average 7-9 hours (minimum 6, maximum 11)

Age

Minimum

Average

Maximum

Toddlers ages 1-2

9

11-14

16

Preschool ages 3-5

8

10-13

14

Young children ages 6-13

7

9-11

12

Teenagers ages 14-17

7

8-10

11

Young adults ages 17-25

6

7-9

11



As adults, our bodies are done maturing and our brains are fully developed. Kids, on the other hand, are still in full-blown growth mode. In fact, adolescence ends around age 25 so your kids are growing well into early adulthood. Their body works harder during the day which means their little bodies need even more sleep to recharge and reboot.

We’re cranky and lethargic and have trouble concentrating when we don’t get enough sleep, and the same is true for our kids. If we miss an hour or two, we can survive the day. But if your child misses thirty minutes or even just one hour in dream land, you might see the side effects. 

Your daughter gets rowdy. Your son gets hyper. As bedtime approaches, your kids are as bubbly as a freshly popped bottle of champagne. Eventually champagne bubbles slow down and lessen, and so should your kids as the night creeps along. 

5 reasons why your child may not be sleeping through the night

Does your child stay wired and alert into the wee hours of the morning? Does he wake in the middle of the night? Does she not stay asleep until morning? Here are a few things to consider. 

1 - Fear, anxiety, or stress

When you get stressed out about finances, do you have trouble sleeping? When you are anxious about your child’s first day at school, is it hard to sleep through the night? When you are fearful about the future, is insomnia your best friend?

Your children may not be able to articulate their fears, anxieties, and stressors, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t real or don’t have an impact on your kid’s overall health. 

Consider your life right now. 

  • If you’re expecting a new baby, moving to a new house, or experiencing a new life change, your child might feel stressed about it.
  • If someone you know is sick or in the hospital, your little one might be anxious about their health.
  • If a scary show just aired on your television, fears and nightmares might stir in their mind.

You might be thinking, “Yeah, but our life is normal. Everything is fine.” That might be the case, but I challenge you to take these emotions one step further. Here’s an example.

When my husband was about four years old, his grandmother fell, broke her leg, had surgery, and was recovering in the hospital. His parents communicated what happened to grandma and explained that they could go visit her in a few days.

But when the day arrived for him to visit his grandma in the hospital, he freaked out. He didn’t want to go. His parents were befuddled since he adored his grandma, so they didn’t push the issue and let him stay home. 

My mother-in-law loves to tell this part of the story... She stayed home with him while everyone else went to see grandma, and while they were home, my husband colored a picture that revealed his inner thoughts. He drew grandma laying in a bed with only one leg...the other leg was completely detached from her body, laying on the ground beside the bed.

Ohhhh. Now everyone understood what was stressing him out. He thought that grandma broke her leg the way an action figure breaks his leg: it literally snaps off. 

Is your family going through a similar scenario, where you child misunderstands reality even though you are communicating the details? Those unseen stressors, anxieties, and fears might be impacting their sleep habits. 

2 - Temperature

Imagine having a broken air conditioner in the middle of the summer heat while living near the beach. Or picture life in the mountains without a heater or a fireplace. The temperature would be extreme. 

And if you haven’t noticed, it’s tough to fall asleep when you’re either sweating or shivering. 

How is the temperature in your child’s bedroom? Make sure it’s hovering around room temperature. If your kids sleep with the door close, consider turning a fan on low to keep the air circulating. Opt for light sheets in the summer and an extra blanket in the winter—or purchase some fashionable seasonal pajamas. (Every kid loves new, comfy jammies!)

3 - Noise and light

The Boeing 747 Dreamliner has an amazing feature: LED lights that shift and vary to reduce jet lag. If you’re on a 12+ hour transcontinental flight, you’ll take all of the comfort and darkness and quiet that you can get in order to have a few hours of sleep.

Pretend like your kids are on that same transcontinental flight. How can you reduce the morning light from the windows? Should you add a dim nightlight? Can you play a sound machine, soft music, or nature sounds to help your child relax? 

4 - Hunger or thirst

We’ve all crawled under the sheets with a growling belly. As much as we don’t want to eat right before bed, falling asleep on an empty stomach is like trying to drink water from an empty cup. 

You know what else is similar? Waking up completely parched, as if your tongue is made of sandpaper.

How do you handle those moments? You eat a small snack or swig down water. How does your child handle those moments? They come ask you for something to eat or drink.

Prevent the nighttime belly groans and dry mouth. Offer your child two or three crackers, a small bite of cheese, or half of an apple before bed. It doesn’t need to be much, but something can make a big difference—especially if you ate dinner hours before bedtime.

Offer a small glass (just a few ounces) of water or milk before bed as well. This keeps their little bodies hydrated. Stashing a leak-proof water bottle next to their bed also means they can wake up, take a sip, and roll right back to sleep when they get thirsty. (Hint: don’t fill the bottle with more than a few ounces of water so they don’t drink so much that they need a potty break.)

One more fact about food and drink: avoid caffeine or excessive amounts of sugar late in the day.

5 - Awake mind or restless body

This point circles back to the first one. An awake mind is a barrier to sleep. A restless body is the same way.

Take five minutes between dinner and bedtime to get all of the wiggles out. Put on a silly song and dance, jump, run, walk, or spin. Whatever it takes to get the extra pent up energy out of their body before bedtime!

If your child’s thoughts or body is keeping them awake, be sure to consult your pediatrician to ensure that there are no underlying heath concerns.

Problem: can’t sleep. Solution: weighted blanket

Sleep is essential. It is how our bodies are designed to rest, refuel, and reboot. Lack of sleep is torture. It impacts our bodies, minds, emotions, and pretty much everything.

If your kid can’t sleep, try a kid's weighted blanket. For a small investment, it reaps huge results.

  • The American Journal of Occupational Therapy conducted a study on children with sleep disturbances and concluded that sleeping with a weighted blanket increases sleep quality. They also noted that kids “responded positively to the weighted blanket intervention.”
  • Another study on kids showed that a weighted blanket decreases the time that it takes to fall asleep and therefore improved the kid’s attention, behavior, and activity at school.
  • Other research noted that using a weighted blanket at night helps kids calm down, fall asleep, and remain asleep.
  • More positive benefits include increased comfort, better quality sleep, and feeling more secure in bed. Overall there is less movement in the middle of the night and a better night of rest.
  • Some other studies even reveal that kids move around less in their sleep under the gentle weight of the weighted blanket and wake up more refreshed. In their words, “I have a calmer night’s sleep.”

That’s great!” you say. “But what if a weighted blanket doesn’t help my kid sleep better?”

Nothing has 100% success rate, but using a weighted blanket has continually been show to help kids fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and wake up less often. Weighted blankets are favored by kids and their parents, and are well tolerated by children as well. 

Tired? Try a weighted blanket

Our Hush Kids Weighted Blanket was designed with children like yours in mind. It’s like a hug that lasts all night long. It’s as soft as their favorite stuffed animal. It’s as comforting as their baby blanket. And, like Goldilocks said, “It’s just right!”

Give your kid the sleep they deserve. Order a Hush Kids Weighted Blanket today!

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