If you have kids, chances are, you know just how difficult it can be to get them to go to sleep at night. Kids can get excitable and can resist the urge to nod off. But it is really important that they get sufficient sleep to provide them with the rest and recuperation time that they need. Here’s some more information on how much sleep your little ones should be getting, as well as a few tips and tricks that can help them to drift off into a peaceful night’s slumber.
Why Is Sleep So Important?
Sleep is important for everyone. This is the time when your mind winds down and your body can get to work, repairing any damage your body has experienced throughout the day and taking time to store memories and other important information. Studies have found that children who regularly get the right amount of sleep tend to have improved attention, better behaviour, improved learning, increased memory and better overall mental and physical health. Not getting enough sleep can lead to a host of health issues, both physical and mental, ranging from high blood pressure to obesity and even issues such as depression.
How Much Sleep Do Kids Need?
The amount of sleep that children will need will change depending on their age. If you’re wondering how much sleep your kid should be getting, the following information should serve as a rough guide:
- 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
Take some time to note down when your child is sleeping and when they wake up. This can help you to check that they’re getting the right amount of sleep.
Helping Your Kids to Sleep
Of course, we all know that kids can often resist sleep. So what can you do to get them off to sleep and into a good sleeping routine? Here are some suggestions that can help you along the way.
Routine is important for bedtime. Make sure that your little ones have a set, routine bed time that they stick to. This can get their body into the routine and rhythm of winding down at the same time each night.
A lot of kids enjoy a good bedtime story. This is a good opportunity to bond with your kid, helping to stir up their imagination, but also relaxing them, as they’ll be tucked into bed in a comfortable environment with your voice soothing them. If you’re not into reading the stories yourself, or your child is growing older and wants more independence in their bedtime routine, you may find that children’s audio books are a good option too.
Sometimes kids struggle to nod off because they feel afraid of the dark. Night lights are a simple solution to this, offering a gentle form of light that shows where they are but doesn’t keep them awake.
As you can see, sleep is pretty important for your kids. Hopefully, some of the information above will help you to ease them into a comfortable snooze each night!