Children and Sleep
Why is a good night’s rest important for children (and adults)?
Sleep is an essential part of everyone’s routine and an indispensable part of a healthy lifestyle. Studies have shown that children who regularly get an adequate amount of sleep have improved attention, behaviour, 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 within 24 hours?
Although the amount of sleep you get each day is important, other aspects of your sleep also contribute to your health and wellbeing. Good sleep quality is also essential. Signs of poor sleep quality include not feeling rested, even after getting enough sleep, repeatedly waking up during the night and experiencing symptoms of sleep disorders (such as snoring or gasping for air). Improving sleep quality may be helped by better sleep habits or being diagnosed and treated for any sleep disorder you may have.
Some children are tough to get to sleep and others have trouble staying asleep. Here are some tips to help families to help children 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.
A bedtime routine will vary depending on your child. Ideally it should take 30 minutes but in some cases it can take up to an hour.
Consider using visual schedules for your child to follow. Keep your voice calm, avoid confrontation and any bright lighting.