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Tips for encouraging kids to get quality and enough sleep

Creating a good environment for sleep

A room that is too hot or with too much light is going to make it hard for you to fall asleep. Get light-blocking curtains for your windows and make sure the temperature in your kids’ room is seasonally appropriate. Ensure that their mattress is comfortable, read these 2021 mattress topper reviews and upgrade their bed.

Turning off electronics

Devices like computers, phones, and tablets generate light that can have an effect on sleep. Using devices with such screens two hours before going to bed is going to lower your melatonin levels, which is a chemical responsible for sleep.

A regular sleep schedule

This is one of the hardest tips to implement, but it is the most important. It is important to keep a consistent bedtime schedule, even on weekends. The child’s natural circadian rhythm is going to be uninterrupted and they will have better mental and physical functioning.

You don’t need to rely on naps for older ones. This is going to make it hard for school-aged kids to go to bed at the right time.

Taking time to wind down

Kids need time to unwind physically and mentally just like adults. Help your kids with establishing a brief and relaxing routine that they can follow every night – this can be a few minutes of stretching, taking a bath, listening to mellow music, or drinking a glass of warm milk.

Getting the right amount of sleep

A well-rested child is going to get better quality sleep. How much sleep is enough? According to guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation, here are the recommended hours;

Infants 4 to 11 months: 12 to 15 hours

Toddlers 1 to 2 years: 11 to 14 hours

Preschoolers 3 to 5 years: 10 to 13 hours

School-aged 6 to 13 years: 9 to 11 hours

Teenagers 14 to 17: 8 to 10 hours

Younger adults 18 to 25: 7 to 9 hours

Why are good sleep habits good for a child’s health? Deep sleep is important because it triggers the body to release hormones responsible for normal growth in children. The hormone is going to boost muscles mass and repair tissues and cells in children and adults.

When they don’t get enough sleep ghrelin (hormone that makes you hungry) levels increase and leptin levels (the hormone that makes you feel full) go down and this is why kids start feeling hungrier when they are tired and they will crave higher-carb and higher-fat foods.

When kids feel tired, they become more sedentary which makes them burn fewer calories. Research has shown when kids take part in vigorous exercise, they fall asleep faster compared to those living a more sedentary lifestyle.

The behavior of the kid is the most outward symptom that they did not get quality sleep. Kids sleeping less than 10 hours a night before 3 years are three times more likely to have impulsivity and hyperactivity by age 6. These are like ADHD symptoms and this is why tired kids are impulsive and distracted even though they don’t have ADHD.

The above six tips will go a long way in helping your kids get quality sleep. You also need to improve your sleep habits because research has shown children with parents following healthy sleeping environments and routines tend to have a good sleep routine.

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