How Much Sleep Does My Child Need?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, school-aged children need between 9-11 hours of sleep every night. The consequences of allowing kids to burn the candle at both ends can be severe: without adequate sleep, kids can suffer from:
inability to pay attention in class,
difficulty remembering what they’ve learned in school,
decreased immune system function, and
impaired growth, if the sleep deprivation is severe enough.
If this has got you calculating the hours your child spend asleep last night and realizing that it wasn’t enough, don’t panic. There’s a lot you can do to encourage your child to get the shuteye she needs.
How To Get Your Child More Sleep
While having an appropriate bedtime is always important, there’s more to it than simply making your child get into bed at a specific time every night. Instead, you want to make sure that you’re setting up the child’s environment to be as sleep-inducing as possible. That includes making sure they’ve got a comfortable mattress. Many parents have their children sleeping on old, hand-me-down mattresses or toddler beds, neither of which are adequate for a growing child. Once you’re certain that the bed isn’t the problem and your child is still not getting to sleep on time, check out some of these other techniques.
By now everyone has heard that they shouldn’t use devices near bedtime, but this is doubly important for children, whose brains can be more stimulated by bright lights and exciting or scary content than adults’. If your child struggles with sleep, it’s best to limit use of devices after dinner, and to avoid their use altogether for 1-2 hours before bedtime.
What to do instead of devices? Work with your child to come up with a relaxing, consistent bedtime routine that ends up with your child in bed. Many families like to incorporate a bath, a story, and a prayer or special time with a parent. Whatever you choose, do it consistently, and you may give your child one of tbe best gifts possible: the gift of a clear mind and good health.
Sleep For Kids – www.webmd.org
10 Tips For Helping Kids Sleep – www.parents.com