One of the most common causes behind lack of proper sleep is absence of physical activity. If your child has been sitting idle all day, there is going to be a lot of pent up energy that won’t allow him/her to go to sleep on time. You should try and come up with fun activities and allow the child to freely flex its muscles so that he/she literally sleeps like a baby when its bed time.
A comfortable pillow and mattress is also very important for a peaceful sleep. A pillow which is very stuffed might actually strain your child’s neck and consequently result in him/her waking up during the night or getting neck pain. Likewise, a proper sheet or quilt along with comfortable sleeping clothes will ensure that your child feels no discomfort through the night.
In order to put your child in the habit of sleeping at a particular time you need to condition him/her accordingly. A glass of warm milk a few minutes before the designated bed time and lights out in the room will help your child sleep well. Some children are scared of the dark and prefer a small light to be always on. In such a scenario, get the faintest light you can find but make sure it is warm (yellow or orange light) and not the bright white variety.
If your child is frequently wetting the bed, you will need to consider the possible causes behind it. Firstly, you need to realize that bedwetting is a common and natural occurrence and it goes away with time as the child and his body develops. Generally it is due to an underdeveloped bladder, but the cause may also be genetic or stress related. If your child does not stop bedwetting around 11 to 12 years of age, you might want to get a proper medical opinion.
It is very easy for children to manipulate parents into giving in and bending the rules. While it is important to be lenient at times, you need to consistently and strictly (but not harshly) apply the rules and even set examples so that your child realizes the importance of discipline. Even if your child throws a tantrum or asks you to let him stay besides his/her bedtime, you need to be particular about such allowances.