When you sleep well you feel good, and that applies to your children, too. Ironing out any issues as soon as they arise will help your child – and you – get a good night’s sleep. Sleep-deprived kids can become irritable and may have a hard time paying attention in school.
So how much sleep do they need?
» Preschoolers sleep about 11 to 12 hours per night. They may no longer need a daytime nap but will thrive with some quiet time in the afternoon.
» School-age kids need 10 to 11 hours of sleep a night. Bedtime problems can start at this age for a range of reasons.
WHAT’S KEEPING THEM AWAKE?
With all the time spent on homework, sports and after-school activities, computers, television, mobiles and other devices, it’s surprising our kids find the time to sleep at all. All this stimulation can make it harder to get them primed for sleep.
The key, no matter their age, is to set up a bedtime routine and stick to it as best as you can, especially on school nights. Once you have decided on a suitable bedtime:
» Give them a reminder about 30 minutes beforehand, and then at 10 minutes »
Make sure they have at least an hour of technology-free time before bed. This can be easier said than done as they get a bit older, but if you’re firm from the beginning it will become the norm. Encouraging a love of books from a young age is a winning tactic as they will continue to look forward to book-and-bedtime, even if they’re at an age when they can read to themselves
» Keep television, computers, mobiles and other devices out of their bedrooms.