BED­TIME STO­RIES

Good Health (Australia) - - Good Health Handbook -

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.

SWEET DREAMS

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.

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