The Importance of Quality Sleep for Kids

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A Good Night’s Rest

A good’s night sleep is just as crucial as eating healthy and exercising. It’s important that we adults get enough quality sleep, it’s even more important that our toddlers get enough quality sleep. Children, in fact, need more hours of sleep than we adults do to support their rapid mental and physical development.

Toddlers need between 12 and 14 hours of sleep per day to grow strong and healthy during their preschool years. These hours of sleep may be divided up between night-time sleeping and naps during the day. Older children may not need any naps at all.

Sleep is essentially important to children because one, it promotes growth. Growth hormone is primarily secreted during deep sleepJudith Owens, M.D., director of sleep medicine at Children’s National Medical Center, in Washington, D.C.

Several studies have also shown that children who have adequate quality sleep are more likely to have improved attention, behaviour, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health. Insufficient sleep, on the other hand, can lead to high blood pressure, obesity and even depression.

What Are The Recommended Hours Of Sleep A Child Should Get?

While each individual child is slightly different in terms of how much sleep they need, most require the following to be fully rested. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends:

  • Infants under 1 year: 12-16 hours
  • Children 1-2 years old: 11-14 hours
  • Children 3-5 years old: 10-13 hours
  • Children 6-12 years old: 9-12 hours
  • Teenagers 13-18 years old: 8-10 hours

Some Quick Tips To Help Them Sleep

Establish a consistent bedtime routine and make sure the routine starts at the same time every night.

  • Take a warm bath.
  • No electronics and screen time an hour before bed.
  • Limit food and drink before bedtime.
  • Make sure the sleeping environment remains the same every night.
  • Turn off all bright overhead lights.
  • Read to your child.
  • Stick to the same bedtimes and wake up times each day.

What if none of that works? You should definitely visit your child’s paediatrician. Especially if your child is constantly feeling sleepy during the day and showing all sorts of emotional or behaviour problems in school, for these problems are often linked to their lack of sleep.

References

  1. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.chs-ca.org/blog/entry/the-importance-of-a-good-nights-sleep
  2. Dawkins, R. (n.d.). Newsroom. Retrieved from https://www.hopkinsallchildrens.org/ACH-News/General-News/The-importance-of-sleep-for-kids
  3. How to sleep better: 10 tips for children. (2019, May 10). Retrieved from https://raisingchildren.net.au/toddlers/sleep/better-sleep-settling/sleep-better-tips
  4. American Academy of Pediatrics Supports Childhood Sleep Guidelines. (2016, June 13). Retrieved from https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/American-Academy-of-Pediatrics-Supports-Childhood-Sleep-Guidelines.aspx
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Our editorial team is committed to producing the highest quality content. Our published articles are written based on evidence-based information; taken from the leading, credible sources parents can rely on.

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