World Sleep Day – Information for Parents

The following is an article from the World Sleep Day website which you may find interesting.

10 Commandments for Children

Ages Birth to 12 Years

Sleep is one of the most important contributors to your child’s physical and mental health. Good sleep habits, sleep hygiene, or “sleep health” are alternative terms often used to describe sleep promoting practices. The explanation as to why healthy sleep practices promote sleep is likely to be, at least in part, that they work by improving the regulation of sleep, either by reinforcing the body’s natural circadian rhythms (ie, timing of light and darkness), or by increasing the drive to sleep. Other sleep practices help us to associate certain activities (like a bedtime routine) and environments (ie, the bedroom) with sleep. Healthy sleep behaviors also promote sleep by reducing factors in the environment which are stimulating (like caffeine) and increasing relaxation, making it easier to fall and stay asleep.

Finally, good sleep practices include providing an adequate opportunity for sleep based on age and individual sleep needs and an environment that is conducive to good sleep quality and safety.

1. Make sure your child gets enough sleep by setting an age-appropriate bedtime (preferably before 9:00 pm or 21:00 hours) and waketime*.
2. Keep a consistent bedtime and waketime on weekdays and weekends.
3. Establish a consistent bedtime routine and recommend wearing comfortable clothes in bed, including strong absorbing diapers for infants.
4. Encourage your child to fall asleep independently.
5. Avoid bright lights at bedtime and during the night and increase light exposure in the morning.
6. Keep all electronics, including televisions, computers, and cell phones, out of the bedroom and limit use of electronics before bedtime.
7. Maintain a regular daily schedule, including consistent mealtimes.
8. Have an age-appropriate nap schedule.
9. Ensure plenty of exercise and time spent outdoors during the day.
10. Eliminate foods and beverages containing caffeine, including many sodas, coffee, and tea.

* TABLE OF RECOMMENDED SLEEP AMOUNTS
AGE                       SLEEP NEED
3-12 months —-   14 to15 hours
1-3 years —-        12 to14 hours
3-5 years —-        11 to 13 hours
6-12 years —-      10 to 11 hours
12-18 years —-    8.5 to 9.5 hours

 

More information may be viewed via the following website: http://www.worldsleepday.org/

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