5 Ways to Help Your Children Sleep Tight
Quality sleep is vital for growing children. It reduces their risk for childhood obesity and Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes while improving their ability to concentrate and remember new things in school. If your child always seems sleepy or has trouble following asleep, consider these tips to help them be their best.
- Know how much sleep your child needs. As children get older, they don’t need as much sleep to be healthy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on how much sleep is needed and recommends toddlers and preschoolers get 11 to 12 hours per day, school-aged children receive 10 hours per day and teens sleep between nine and 10 hours per day.
- Maintain regular bedtimes. Set an age appropriate bedtime your child follows even on weekends. Sleep routines often help children fall asleep and wake up more easily. Studies show that children with irregular bedtimes are more likely to have behavioral problems.
- Limit nighttime electronics use. Televisions, computers, smartphones and tablets stimulate your child’s brain and keep them from feeling sleepy. Make sure your child stops using these devices at least an hour before bed.
- Read a bedtime story together. Listening to or reading a story is a restful activity that helps children transition to sleep. Reading to your child also helps them improve their reading and writing skills in school.
- Set up a relaxing environment for sleep. Good sleep hygiene means developing habits and an environment that prepares your child for healthy sleep. Many children sleep best in a cool, quiet atmosphere, with low lighting, such as a nightlight. Leave a fan running to keep your child cool and introduce calming white noise.
If you try all of the above tips and your child still has trouble sleeping, Riley at IU Health Sleep Medicine team can help.