Children’s Sleep Routines
Back to School Sleep Routines
For school-aged kids, one of the best parts of summer break is being able to stay up late. Whether it’s weekly sleepovers, movie nights, or family game nights that go late into the night, your children may have disregarded their usual sleep routines. Now that the new school year is just around the corner, it’s time to encourage your children to jump back into a healthy sleep schedule.
Why Sleep is Important
Though some kids may fight sleep to stay up later, it is so important to their overall health. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children aged 6-12 years should be getting 10-13 hours of sleep and teenagers should be getting 8-10 hours of sleep. When these sleep guidelines are met it can have a positive impact on a child’s physical, mental, and emotional health.
Physical health – Making sure your children get enough sleep allows them to have the energy they need to function throughout the day. This would include helping them to stay awake during school and be able to practice sports safely and efficiently.
Mental health – Children who get the recommended amount of sleep at night tend to have happier, more positive moods. Lack of sleep is linked to anxiety and depression among teens and young adults.
Cognitive growth – According to a study done on cognitive performance and sleep, children who slept less underperformed in tasks that involved cognitive functions such as memory tasks.
How to Get into a Routine that Works
The needs of every child are different. Remember, what works for one child, may not work for another. Building a routine for your child to ease into getting a good night of sleep will take work and it is a learning process, but here are some tips that can help.
- Turn off all electronics and avoid screen time an hour before bedtime
- Practice cues that tell your child it is time to go to sleep such as putting on pajamas and brushing their teeth
- Give your child a warm bath
- Read a story
- Dim lights and use black-out curtains
- Use a sound machine
Sleep Routines in Adulthood
The routines we establish in our children when they are young have the potential to carry on into adulthood. When it comes to sleep, it is important to lay the foundation of healthy sleep habits in order to continue those same habits.
If your child is still struggling with falling asleep or your child is showing signs of sleep deprivation throughout the day, talk to your child’s doctor about your options.
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