Healthy Sleep Habits
Children’s health and behavior take a nose dive when their sleep habits are out of whack. Adequate sleep will boost your child’s energy and enthusiasm. Good-quality sleep also can help your child learn more easily and reduce many behavioral problems.
How Much Is Enough?
Generally, between the ages of 6 and 9, most children need about 10 hours of sleep a night, while preteens need a little over 9 hours. Your child may require more sleep if he or she:
- Has a short attention span, or is irritable or restless
- Has unusually low energy low energy and activity levels
- Is more tearful, anxious, defensive or impatient than usual
Sleep Tips for Your Children
- Set a regular time for bed each night and stick to it
- Avoid feeding children big meals close to bedtime
- Avoid giving anything with caffeine less than six hours before bedtime
- Make after-dinner playtime a relaxing time
- Establish a calming bedtime routine
Note: Each child is different and has his or her own way of approaching sleep. Some take extra time to fall asleep, while others wake more often during the night. You know your child’s personal habits best, so with a little trial and error, you should succeed in finding a routine that suits your family.