By Dr. Kim Grengs, Parent Coach
Children need a tremendous amount of sleep to be successful. Having the correct amount will support them in many ways. They will be capable to grow, learn and play throughout the day. The amount of sleep they get impacts them socially, emotionally and physically. Children thrive on a regular bedtime routine. Children that get enough sleep have a healthy immune system, can regulate their bodies, behavior and mental health. Adequate sleep provides brain maturation and regulates body rhythms.
AVERAGE DAILY SLEEP RECOMMENDATIONS
AGE HOURS PER NIGHT
3-5 YRS OLD 11
5-9 YRS OLD 10.5
10-13 YRS OLD 10
14-18 YRS OLD 8.5
How do you know if your child is getting enough sleep? Ask them about what happens or what they remember when they sleep. Are they having dreams? In a well maintained brain it takes about 90 minutes to get to the first dream. If your child starts dreaming quickly after falling asleep that may mean they are sleep deprived. Asking your child and observing them while they sleep is one way to know whether they are getting a good night’s sleep. Another way to track your child’s sleep routine is to have a journal or log like the one posted below:
One way to help your child to get a good night’s rest is to have a bedtime routine. What does that entail? It means to have a set time for bed each night.
Let’s say bedtime for your child is at 8:00 then you would want to start your routine at 7:00 with bath time; 7:30 would be snack and story and then 7:45 would be brush teeth and tuck them in. At that point you give them a hug and kiss and say goodnight. They may need a night light, but you can determine that as you go.
It may need to be adjusted for each child and on certain special occasions, but to have the same routine is very important. It will make a tremendous difference in their ability to function in a positive way the next day. Children that have a routine are more successful and feel much better throughout the day. As a parent you are setting your child up for success if you continue to have a routine.
If you have other tips or strategies on supporting parents in bedtime routines please share with us in our Facebook Group.
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