Bedtime and naps can sometimes be a struggle with little ones. They may be overtired, restless, or they may not want to go to sleep at that time. However, it is extremely important that children get the right amount of sleep each night. Bodies need to rest so they can fight off sickness. There is a lot more going on, as well, when children sleep; bones are developing and muscles and skin are also growing. The brain needs to rest, as well, so what is learned throughout the day will be remembered. Ms. Tracy discussed this topic on The Rhode Show. Watch it here!
Below are some guidelines on how much sleep each child should get, based on their age:
Newborns 10-18 hours
Toddler – Preschool age 12-14 hours
School – age 10-11 hours
Problems with getting to sleep or waking up
Sleep orders in children are common. Some common ones are falling asleep and waking up, sleep walking, restless leg syndrome or night terrors. These usually effect children from ages 5-12 or somewhere in adolescence, some may be longer. Interrupted sleep does effect children in many ways. Including academic, behavioral, developmental and social difficulties, weight abnormalities, and other health problems. If you think your child is waking up a lot, cranky from not getting enough sleep for long periods at a time, you might want to consult your doctor. Especially if it is effecting how your child is doing on a day to day basis. It might be something as finding out it is an inner ear infection and this can be fixed and resolved.
Environment for sleeping
To create and calm environment for sleeping children should be in a cool dark room to help them fall asleep. Television and electronics should not be in a child’s bedroom. Your child should avoid eating something heavy or caffeine right before bed. By setting the stage for a relaxing night, your child is bound to get a good night rest.
Make a Routine
Set a routine for bed time and stick to it. Each night is dinner, snack, shower, a story and then bed time. Each night is homework, family time, dinner, bath and bedtime. Which ever works best for you and your family? The key is to try to start a routine if you don’t have one and stick to this routine as close as possible. Children know what to expect when they know the routine is the same. It helps them to wind down to get a good night rest.
This article was written by Tracy Martin-Turgeon, Vice President and Regional Director of Operations at The Children’s Workshop in Cumberland, Rhode Island.