Sleep is crucial for learning, behaviour and good health. But how do you help your child sleep better?
5 Tips for better sleep
Tip 1 Have a consistent night time routine and bedtime. This helps your child wind down and get ready for sleep. It helps regulate their body clock and ensures they have the opportunity to have enough sleep..
Tip 2 Is your child having enough sleep? The following are the recommended duration of sleep for children. If your child is having enough sleep they should wake up by themselves in the morning and feel refreshed.
Infants 4 to 12 months: 12 to 16 hours of sleep (including naps);
Children 1 to 2 years of age: 11 to 14 hours (including naps);
Children 3 to 5 years of age: 10 to 13 hours (including naps);
Children 6 to 12 years of age: 9 to 12 hours; and
Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age: 8 to 10 hours
Tip 3 Avoid electronic screens in the hour before bed and in while bed. Both bright light and other factors associated with electronic devices decrease the production of melatonin which is the chemical that regulates sleep. Children who use electronic devices have on average 30-60 minutes less sleep per night.
Tip 4 Avoid caffeine in either drinks or food. Caffeine can take a long time to break down when consumed. Thus it is best avoided in those who have sleep problems or taken in the morning.
Tip 5 Monitor your child for a sleep disorder that could be impacting on their sleep quality or quality. Does your child snore? (click here for more information about snoring). Are they unusually restless in sleep? Does your child have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? If your child has one of these problems they may benefit from being reviewed by a sleep specialist.
More information about sleep and common problems is available on our blog - click here.