In their formative years, children have trouble falling asleep and parents often find it difficult to put them to bed. Kids tend to wake up in the dead of the night and often stay up for the rest of the night. If there are gadgets around, they to turn into night owls and this is often the real reason why most children are deprived of adequate sleep.
Sleep deprived kids are more prone to suffer from behavioural problems, depression, and obesity, later in their tweens and teens. Sleep needs of children differ as they grow. The sleep chart below, put forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics, shows the recommended hours of sleep for kids under different age groups:
|Age||Hours of Sleep Required Per Day|
|Under 1 year||Up to 16 hours|
|1 – 2 years||Up to 14 hours|
|3 – 5 years||Min 10 hours|
|6 – 12 years||Min 9 hours|
|13 years and above||Min 8 hours|
Children skimping on adequate sleep are often seen falling prey to serious health problems. So, how do you help your child get enough sleep?
Simply adopt these 5 ways to give your child the required amounts of sleep.
- Set an example first: Children learn from what you do. So, never stay up too late at night to watch television or complete any task, be it your child’s homework or your official work. This will be sending a wrong message, which they become programmed to later in life.
- Give preference to sleep: Prepare a timetable giving priority to sleep. Schedule homework and other activities of your child systematically such that the sleep time is not compromised. Try sticking to it for at least three consecutive weeks, so that it becomes a habit.
- Keep gadgets away: Gadgets especially smartphones emit blue light from their screens, which can hamper sleep. Turn off all the gadgets at least one hour before your child goes to bed. Try to place TV sets, computers, and video games away from your child’s bedroom. Also, remember to keep tabs on the time they spend on it.
- Engage them in outdoor activities: Physical activities such as sports and games can help your child tire more and help them fall asleep faster. Make outdoor games part of your child’s daily routine.
- Create the right bedroom ambience for sleep: From lights, the temperature, wall paints to mattress and bedding, everything in your kid’s bedroom influences their desire to retire to sleep. Make your child’s bedroom distinct with the walls painted in child-friendly colours. Keep the room free from clutter and limit toys to one or two dolls or teddy bears serving as your child’s sleep companions. Always make their bed attractive and comfortable with printed bedsheets and pillow covers in warm colours.
Follow these simple tips to make sure your child never falls short on sleep.