The Importance of Sleep for Kids
Why is a good night’s rest important for kids?
Sleep is an essential part of everyone’s routine and an indispensable part of a healthy lifestyle. Studies have shown that kids who regularly get an adequate amount of sleep have improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health. Not getting enough sleep can lead to high blood pressure, obesity and even depression.
What is the recommended amount of sleep a child should get?
It varies based on age. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends:
Infants under 1 year: 12-16 hours
Children 1-2 years old: 11-14 hours
Children 3-5 years old: 10-13 hours
Children 6-12 years old: 9-12 hours
Teenagers 13-18 years old: 8-10 hours
Some kids are tough to get to sleep and others have trouble staying asleep. What are some tips you tell families to help kids get the recommended amount of sleep?
Establishing a consistent bedtime routine is important. The routine should ideally start at the same time every night. As soon as the sun goes down, start to “wind down” the household.
Dim the lights
Stop use of electronics/screens at least an hour before bed
Take a warm bath
Do a quiet family activity such as reading a short book
If your child wakes up during the night, walk them back to their room with as little commotion as possible
Set a wake up time for when the child is allowed to leave his or her room. The child can play quietly until that time if desired.