As you can assume, most kids aren’t getting enough sleep. This may not seem like a big deal to many parents, but when you consider the fact that a 5 year old needs at least 11 hours of sleep a night, you likely feel like your own kids are falling short of the snooze they need. Learn a few simple tips to help your child fall asleep, know how much they need, and why sleep is so important.
How much Sleep is Enough?
The rules are simple: newborns should sleep up to 18 hours a day, kids up to 3 years old should sleep up to 13 hours a day, kids up to 5 should get 11 hours of rest, and kids up to age 10 should receive at least 10 hours of sleep. Any kids over age 10 (especially teenagers) should get between 8 and 10 hours of sleep to successfully function throughout the day.
Why is Sleep Important?
Kids need sleep for a variety of reasons much like adults do. Perhaps the largest reason is so they can grow successfully both physically and mentally. Growing bodies need to rest and kids who get more rest perform better in school, have fewer health problems and tend to even be more social than their sleep-deprived counterparts. While sleep may seem like no big deal and most kids fight going to bed every night, sleep is actually crucial for their growing bodies. Even teenagers can suffer from poor grades and unsatisfactory social skills simply because they are falling behind on their sleep.
How to get the Kids to go to Sleep
Every parent knows that bedtime can be the largest chore of the day. Kids fight, they beg, they throw tantrums, they sneak out of their rooms to avoid falling asleep. But parents need to stick to their bedtime routines and can use these following tips to help their kids go to sleep (and stay asleep, too!):
- Pick the same bedtime every night and the same wake up time, even on weekends. This teaches kids’ bodies to naturally fall asleep and wake up at a determined time. They may even learn to go to bed and wake up on their own!
- Buy a mattress that is comfortable and supportive. A too-soft or too-hard mattress can make it difficult for young children to fall asleep.
- Invest in attractive bedroom décor that will make kids feel more excited about their bedtime routine. This includes new matching bedding, lamps, nightlights, and even curtains to make their bedrooms more inviting for sleep.
- Make sure curtains and full blinds block out streetlamps and outdoor lighting that can keep kids from falling asleep successfully.
- Allow older children time to relax in their beds by reading a book before they fall asleep, but keep tablets and other electronic devices out of their rooms. These items are too tempting and can keep teenagers awake longer than they need to be.
- Have younger kids take their baths an hour before bedtime so their body temperatures have time to drop. Lower body temperatures naturally lure people to sleep by instinct, whereas hot temperatures caused by a bath can make the body more aware.
Children don’t always go to bed on their own very successfully, but as parents we need to make sure that our kids get the rest they need. They can perform better in school, grow more successfully, and have stronger immune systems with the right amount of sleep. Whether your child needs 13 hours of sleep or just 8 or 9 hours, follow great tips to keep your kids in bed and the whole family will benefit from sleeping youngsters all night long.