This past week, the Hindustan Times reported on a disturbing trend among Indian babies and toddler – they aren’t sleeping well or enough. The research was done by fourteen Indian pediatricians who tracked sleep patterns among 3,000 Indian children. They then compared these sleep statistics to other countries like the US, UK and Australia – the findings showed that as a group, Indian kids are suffering from a lack of sleep.
Why are Indian infants and toddlers not sleeping well? First, they are often put to bed too late. While children in other countries are in bed at around 8pm, the average bedtime for Indian children is 10pm. For kids, this is far, far, far too late. The pushing back of bedtime leads to sleep deprivation and actually hurts quality of sleep. Putting young children to bed earlier, and sticking to a sleep routine and schedule, helps them fall asleep easier and sleep better through the night.
Second, Indian children often co-sleep with parents. Co-sleeping means that the children and their sleep is disturbed by their parents’ activity and sleep schedule. Children sleep differently and need more sleep than adults – co-sleeping adds additional problems for these children. These parents most likely need help and guidance from a sleep consultant to teach their child how to sleep independently and through the night.
Third, many Indian parents are feeding their children too late, which pushes back bedtime. This needs to be adjusted for the betterment of the child. This means that dinner or the night feed needs to be made earlier. Another cited problem is the noise level in Indian cities, which are densely populated. Some simple steps to sound-proof the bedroom, or the use of silicone earplugs, could help Indian children living in cities to fall asleep easily and sleep through the night.
It’s not that Indian children are any different from other kids around the world – it’s the habits they are learning which are poor for sleep. Teaching a child how to fall asleep by themselves and through the night is much easier when parents have the help of a certified sleep consultant.
If you have questions about how a sleep consultant can help your child, contact Melissa Doman Sleep Consulting at firstname.lastname@example.org, or schedule a free 15 minute consultation.