A Good Night's Rest: 3 Tips to Help Your Child Get the Right Amount of Sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation, school-aged kids need 9 to 11 hours of sleep per night. Making sure your kids get the recommended amount of sleep for their age can present a challenge. Just like adults, kids often have a hard time falling and staying asleep throughout the night. Sleep is even more important for kids than adults as a good night’s sleep is essential for the health of their developing bodies and minds.
Here are some tips to make sure your children fall asleep, stay sleep and most importantly, get enough sleep to perform at optimum levels throughout the day.
- Set a regular bedtime. It’s easier to fall asleep if you go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. This is also true for children. The body’s circadian rhythms (your internal clock) get used to the regular times, and when bedtime rolls around, they will have fewer problems with sleep.
- Be a good example. If you don’t sleep at regular times, or sleep a full eight hours each night, your children will pick up on it. You are their primary role models and if you want them to develop good sleep habits, then you need to have good sleep habits yourself.
- Unplug before bedtime. Lights and mental stimulation can convince the brain that it’s time to stay awake. One to two hours before bedtime, make sure your kids unplug their video games, TVs and computers. Have them read a book, read to them or engage in other activities that don’t require a glowing, electronic device.
Remember- sleep is essential for childhood development. If you follow these steps, you should be well on your way to making sure your children sleep better and live healthier.
For more questions on your child’s sleep cycle, contact your primary care physician.