Kids and Sleep: Everything You Need To Know
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Adequate sleep may be a luxury for adults, but it’s non-negotiable for children. A whole night of sleep restores and rejuvenates the mind and body, allowing kids to become socially adjusted and emotionally stable. But on the other hand, lack of sleep can lead to poor attention span, low energy levels, behavioral issues, and academic struggles.
If you’re struggling with the same, this article will help you untangle all your confusion around kids and sleep and provide some timeless tips on ensuring they get sufficient sleep.
Why Is Sleep Important For Children
Sleep is essential for children to maintain their health because not getting enough sleep can hurt their growth in many ways. For example, they may become grumpy and irritable, struggle to concentrate or pay attention, and even start behaving in a disruptive or aggressive way. In the long term, lack of sleep can lead to problems with growth and development, weight gain, and poor mental health.
How Many Hours of Sleep Does Your Child Need
|Age Group||Amount of Sleep Required|
|Infants (0–3 months)||14–17 hours, including naps|
|Infants (4–12 months)||12–16 hours, including naps|
|Toddlers (1–2 years)||11–14 hours, including naps|
|Preschool (3–5 years)||10–13 hours, including naps|
|School-age (6–13 years)||9–12 hours|
|Teens (14–17 years)||8–10 hours|
If you’re wondering how many hours do kids sleep, it is necessary to note that it depends on their age. For example, if your infant is up to 3 months, they might need 14-17 hrs of sleep, including naps. However, if your infant is between 4–12 months, they might need 12-16 hrs of sleep, including nap time. The duration lies between 11-14 hrs for toddlers up to 2 years.
For preschoolers between 3-5 years, the standard amount of sleep lies between 10-13 hrs, while for children between 6-13 years, it typically comes down to 9-12 hrs. However, teenagers between 14-17 years generally require 8-10 hrs of sleep daily.
What Happens When Children Don't Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is vital for children’s physical and mental health. When children are indulged in bad sleeping habits, it can lead to physical health problems such as weight gain and hypertension.
These problems can persist into adulthood. It can also lead to mental health problems, including poor concentration, irritability, moodiness, depression, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
How Can I Tell if My Child Isn’t Getting Enough Sleep
A few key signs can help you tell if your child isn’t getting enough sleep. Firstly, note how often your child is yawning or complaining of being tired. Secondly, see if your child is having difficulty concentrating or focusing. Lastly, observe whether your child seems cranky more often than usual – this might mean they’re not getting enough rest.
Tips on How To Make Sure Your Child Gets a Full Night's Sleep
As a parent, you want your child to get the best possible night’s sleep. And to help make that happen, it’s essential to know how to ensure they get a full night’s sleep.
Let’s look at some proven tips for kids to sleep better –
Make Sufficient Sleep a Family Priority
Many families find it difficult to make sufficient sleep a priority. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a regular bedtime routine as a family, stick to it, and create a calm and relaxing environment, especially in your child’s bedroom.
Keep to a Regular Daily Routine
A regular daily routine can help your child wind down at the end of the day and relax into a healthy sleep. To do this, you can bathe them every night before bed.
Be Active During the Day
Your child must get some form of exercise. Exercise will help tire them out so they can sleep better at night. Take them for a walk in the morning or afternoon, or play with them outside.
Monitor Screen Time
To ensure your child gets a healthy sleep, you should monitor their screen time in the hours leading up to bedtime. Try to limit their screen time to no more than 1-2 hours before bedtime.
Create a Sleep-Supportive and Safe Bedroom and Home Environment
Creating a bedroom and home environment that promotes good sleep is as essential as any other factor. So, ensure the bedroom is dark, quiet, and relaxed so that the correlation between kids and sleep isn’t affected.
Realize That Teens Require More Sleep
Children around thirteen need approximately nine and a half hours of sleep every night. One way to help ensure your teen gets enough sleep is to create a bedtime routine by having them wind down for 30 minutes before bed.
Don’t Put Your Baby to Bed With a Bottle of Juice, Milk, or Formula
Babies need to be burped frequently when drinking a bottle. Therefore, you should avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle of juice, milk, or formula. Doing so can cause tooth decay and contribute to obesity.
Don’t Start Giving Solids Before About 6 Months of Age
It is essential to wait until your child is at least 6 months old before starting them on solid foods. It is necessary to ensure that their digestive system is mature enough to handle solid foods.
Trying to pack your child’s schedule full of activities can be tempting, but it’s essential to avoid overscheduling. A tired child is more likely to have trouble falling asleep.
Learn to Recognize Sleep Problems
Most children will have the occasional sleepless night, but some may suffer from chronic sleep problems. Hence, parents need to learn to recognize the signs of sleep problems.
Talk to Your Child’s Teacher or Child Care Provider
It’s important to talk to your child’s teacher or childcare provider about their sleep habits. Ask about their nap, bedtime routine, and sleeping problems.
Talk to Your Child’s Pediatrician About Sleep
Talk to their pediatrician if you’re worried about your child’s sleep habits. They can help you determine if your child has a sleep disorder or not.
When to See a Doctor
If your child is having difficulty sleeping, it may be time to see a doctor. They may experience difficulty falling asleep due to potential medical conditions, medications, and circadian rhythm disorders. Consulting a sleep specialist can help identify the right cause and create a treatment plan.
Getting enough sleep is essential for kids of all ages – from newborns to teenagers. A good night’s sleep helps kids grow physically, emotionally, and mentally. Although every kid is different, following some helpful tips for kids to sleep better can help ensure your child gets the sleep they need. Talk to their pediatrician if you have concerns.
Most kids sleep well by the time they are about three years old. This is because they have usually developed a regular sleep schedule by then.
Ensuring a regular bedtime routine and creating a relaxing environment in the bedroom can help them fall asleep at night.
There are three common sleep problems in early childhood: sleep onset association disorder, sleep apnea, and night terrors.
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