Head Lice Affecting Your Child’s Sleep? The Best Ways to Battle Bedtime.

One of the worst side effects of a head lice outbreak is the sleep deprivation it can cause for victims. Bedtime habits are interrupted by itchy, irritated scalps that can get much worse at night. Lice are nocturnal insects that are active at night biting through the skin, crawling through hair strands and laying eggs. This type of discomfort can quickly lead to loss of sleep, irritability, and exhaustion. Once the lice problem has been taken care of, establishing a nighttime regime to prepare for bedtime can go a long way in helping your child get back to resting peacefully through the night.


Do’s and Don’ts for Bedtime

Do always choose the same time every night to start preparing your child for sleep. A routine of consistency is the key to helping their minds and bodies get in the sleep mode.


Don’t let a busy schedule make nighttime rushed, hurried and stressful. Prepare homework, finish chores and make sure your daily activities are wrapped up before bedtime hits to prevent late nights. Plan ahead and keep the timing consistent.


Do consider the morning schedule. Make sure your child is getting up in the morning having had enough rest and with enough time to calmly get ready for the day.


Don’t let them sleep in and be forced to rush in the mornings. No one likes to start their day feeling pressure and scrambling around trying to get to school on time.


Do have bath time at night. A warm, comforting shower or bath is a great way to relieve the stress of the day and help them prepare to unwind. Using scented bath oils or soaps can add to the serenity. Smells that encourage sleep are jasmine, lavender, and vanilla.


Don’t forget to brush their teeth, comb their hair and help them learn proper personal hygiene before bedtime. Establishing patterns of health when children are young is important for them to stay healthy throughout their adult life.


Do take the time to read to your child, sing a quiet song, or chat about their day. Children crave attention from their parents. They want relationships of openness and communication. Ask them about something fun that happened at school. Listen to any concerns they may have or circumstances in their life that are causing them stress. Be open-minded and easy to talk to. Spending time, if but a few short moments, with your child each night can make them feel confident and safe which will result in a much more healthy night’s sleep.


Don’t play loud music, have loud TVs playing, or give them media devices in their rooms before bedtime. Overstimulation from technology and noise can create unhealthy environments causing young people’s minds to feel far from serene. They won’t fall asleep quickly and get the proper amount of rest if they haven’t prepared their minds to unwind.


Do follow the sleep schedule outlined by the National Sleep Foundation.  Infants 0-2 years of age need the most sleep with a full 12 hour nights rest and at least a 2 hour nap during the day.  Children 3-6 years old can essentially just skip the nap, and still get a full 12 hours rest at night. When children reach ages 7-12 it is recommended they get 10-11 hours of sleep per night. Teenagers between the ages of 13-18 are not off the hook yet. Experts recommend at least 8-9 hours for their age group.


Don’t let older children get into a pattern of staying up too late. Even teenagers still need the full amount of sleep for brain development and to deal with the stresses high school and adolescent life can throw at them. According to The Mental Health Daily, an adult brain is not fully developed until the minimum age of 20. Proper sleep is a vital element in healthy development and a happy life.


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