If your child winces as the morning alarm rings or repeatedly hits snooze, take note. According to WedMD, “Sleep is no less important than food, drink, or safety in the lives of children. Although this may seem apparent many of us actually do not allow our children to get the critical sleep they need to develop and function properly.” Scary words for parents everywhere!
But, what exactly is “enough” sleep for kids? The National Sleep Foundation guidelines suggest that requirements vary significantly by age:
- Preschoolers typically sleep 11-13 hours each night
- Children aged six to 13 need 9-11 hours of sleep
- Most teens need about 8½ to more than 9 hours
With school just around the corner, the need for adequate sleep is even more important. So, how to best get kids of all ages to sleep? Here are five easy-to-implement tips:
- Adjust the schedule gradually (start two weeks before the 1st day of school)
- Cut down on electronics (particularly before bedtime)
- Trick the brain with light (add room darkening curtains or shades)
- Limit sugar and caffeine intake
- Implement a wind down routine each evening
Follow these guidelines and soon your child will be… sleeping like a baby!
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