Sleep

Sleep at Least 8 Hours Each Night!

Sleep is critically important for maintaining your children's health. We recommend 8 hours of sleep, but individuals vary in how much sleep they need to function well. For young children, 9 hours is often best. If your can can go to bed, fall asleep easily, wake up easily, and not be tired during the day, then they're probably getting enough sleep. Whatever the duration, a good night's sleep will help lower stress, maintain a healthy weight, improve memory and attention, and repair any damage to the body. Try these tips to help your child get a good night's sleep:

Set Regular Sleep Times. Set bedtimes and stick to them, even on the weekends. This will get the kids' bodies used to a regular sleep schedule and avoid unnecessary arguments.

Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine. Whether it's a warm bath, a light snack, or a bedtime story, having a cue that bedtime is coming will help kids to unwind and sleep better.

Keep Electronics Out of the Kids Bedroom. Keep TVs, computers and even cell phones out of the bedroom, especially when kids should be sleeping. The light, noise, and stimulation from these devices will make it more difficult to fall asleep and disrupt normal sleep patterns if left on.

Keep Temperature and Noise at Comfortable Levels. If it's too hot or too cold, sleep can be disrupted, so set the thermometer to a pleasant, cool nighttime temperature. Household noise can also tavel into the kids' rooms, so be aware of the volume of adult activities and try to keep it down.

Get Fun Bedding or a Bed Tent. Make your child's bed an inviting place and they will be more likely to want to spend time there. A bed tent is an especially good option to shut out distractions and give the child a sense of cocooning.

Keep a Sleep Journal. Have your child keep a journal to 'empty' their minds in preparation for sleep. This is a great activity to work into the bedtime routine.