Before going to sleep, the body needs to be relaxed and prepared to fall asleep. A child will fall asleep very easily, but only when tired or "in the mood." After dinner, try spending some time with him/her playing a mellow game, watch some TV (with the sound low), give him a bath, or read him a story. These kinds of things normally work, because the child starts to get sleepy because of the settings around him. Don't put him in an area with too much noise or light. Starting a routine works really good. For example, about a hour before bed time you can read a book or watch a movie then slowly start to get ready for bed. By doing the same routine every night the child get in a habit and they know that it is time for bed.
Make sure you are waking him up around the same time every day. If he gets up at 7 a.m. every morning for school, he shouldn't be waking up at noon on Saturday. Keep his sleeping pattern regular. No caffeine or exercise 3-6 hours before bedtime. If all else fails, you could try some over-the-counter medicines. I would recommend diphenhydramine, which you can find in a grocery store or pharmacy as Benadryl. Take that 45 minutes before you want him asleep. Don't get into a habit of taking that every night though.
Another option is to give the child hot milk before bed time. And the use of soothing smells to relax the child will aslo help. Or spend time with the child by reading quietly. One of my friends take their son out for a night walk, and the child drifts off to sleep easily.
In some stores you can buy pillow mist that work as aromatherapy and the scents will help you fall to sleep. Or you can light some candles with calm scents which help. Or play some calming music on a low volume such as composers like Mozart. Something that is gentle, or you can sing a song to him yourself.
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