Sleep plays an important role in your child’s physical and mental health. In fact, sleep is just as important as nutrition and exercise. Sleep allows the body to rest and helps to ensure proper growth and development. Sleep can:
- Boost the immune system
- Promote growth
- Fight obesity
- Help kids succeed in school
- Increase a child’s attention span
Sleep comes naturally to most kids; however, missed naps, early school times, late-night homework, and social activities can interfere with the amount and quality of sleep your child gets. Think of the times when you don’t get enough quality sleep. How did you feel – drowsy, crabby, stressed, lacking energy and focus? Your kids are the same. Not getting enough sleep can impact their moods and feelings, their ability to learn and how they interact with others.
The amount of sleep we need changes with our age. Although everyone is unique in terms of how much sleep is ideal, newborns usually sleep up to 18 hours (spread out through the day and night), while teenagers need at least 9 hours a night.
Ensure your children get enough quality sleep for their mental and physical well-being:
- Follow a calming bedtime routine to get them ready for sleep.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks like cola or energy drinks.
- Don’t have a TV in their room. If you do, make sure it is turned off at bedtime.
- Don’t watch scary TV shows or movies close to bedtime.
- Use your bed just for sleeping — not doing homework, reading, playing games, or talking on the phone.
Learn more about healthy sleep for kids of all ages.