Tips for Healthy Sleep Habits

By: Kate Quattlebaum

Getting a good night’s sleep is important for everyone, especially children. Their performance the next day depends on how well rested they are. Our brains function better after sleeping. This allows your child to be more physically relaxed and mentally alert. Use these tips to help ensure your child gets a restful night of sleep.


Sleep Duration

Different age groups need different amounts of sleep to perform at their best. Also consider any naps taken during the day to calculate the total sleep for the day. It is recommended that infants from 3 to 12 months get 14 to 15 hours of sleep every day. Toddlers, from 1 to 3 years, are recommended 12 to 14 hours of sleep. Preschoolers, from ages 3 to 5 years, need 11 to 13 hours of sleep. Older, school-aged children from 6 to 12 years old need 10 to 11 hours of sleep. Making sure your child is getting the right amount of sleep is key to healthy sleeping habits.

Establish a Consistent Routine

Each family and child has their own routine based on their preference. Whatever your routine may be, ensure it is consistent. Maintaining a consistent routine helps regulate your child’s internal clock. Also, avoid any stimulating activities before bed like watching tv or playing video games. A good, calming activity to get your child ready for bed is reading a book together or telling them a story.


Sleep Quality

Getting continuous sleep will naturally teach your child to fall back asleep after being briefly awakened. Fragmented sleep can interrupt brain growth and the natural sleep cycle. Naps less than one hour are not enough for the brain to benefit children over 4 months of age. Your child can have trouble falling asleep if you are overtired so watch for the stages of drowsiness. Drowsy children may include slower movements, yawning, less vocal, or decreased activity.

All of these tools will contribute to establishing a healthy sleep habit for your child. Establishing these habits in early development will help prevent any long-term sleeping problems for your child.

Source: NAECY

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Tags: sleeping, sleep, Parenting Tips, healthy habits