Kids do not always understand the benefits of a good night’s sleep. At the end of a long day, adults typically look forward to slipping under the covers, while children find plenty of imaginative ways to postpone bedtime. Unfortunately, disruptions at bedtime can decrease your child’s quality and quantity of sleep and affect his or her behavior the following day. With these suggestions, you can help make sure your child gets enough rest at night.
Sleep Recommendations for Children
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following for children:
- Infants 4 months to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Children 1 to 2 years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Children 3 to 5 years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps) on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Children 6 to 12 years of age should sleep 9 to 12 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
- Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep 8 to 10 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health.
Even a slight lack of sleep can affect your child’s grades. A Savvy Sleeper survey revealed that high schoolers who got 8.1 hours of sleep received mostly As, while their peers who only slept for 7.3 hours got Cs.
How Your Environment Affects Sleep Patterns
The environment provided for children plays a huge role in their quality of sleep. Without a dark, quiet place to sleep, your child may have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. The National Sleep Foundation reports that the ideal temperature for sleeping is between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
Proper bed size can improve your child’s quality of sleep. Children can outgrow a bed very quickly. Your child’s bed should be at least 12 inches longer than his or her height. Soft bedding will help keep your child comfortable during the night.
Digital Devices and TV Before Bed Can Be Detrimental For Their Sleep
Blue light from smartphones, laptops, tablets, and TVs can interfere with your child’s ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Children should put devices away at least an hour before bedtime.
A Bedtime Routine Can Improve Sleep
According to a Canadian study, children are more likely to get the recommended amount of sleep when parents enforce a consistent bedtime. In fact, when they go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, both children and parents benefit. Ideally, it should be about the same time going to sleep and waking up whether it’s a weekend or a weekday.
Promote Relaxation at Bedtime
Fears about grades, friends or the monster under the bed can trigger stress and anxiety that make it difficult for kids and teenagers to fall asleep. Teaching mindfulness for your son or daughter, relaxing poses of yoga, or breathing exercises can help them learn to relax at bedtime.
Does your child experience sleep deprivation? We’ll find the source of the problem and offer solutions designed to improve sleep quality. Contact Summit Family Chiropractic in Mount Juliet, TN to schedule a free consultation for your children.