Sleep more, learn more!
With busy schedules and hectic days, parents can sometimes forget the importance of adequate sleep for their children. Proper sleep is a major component of a growing child’s health and development. On average, school age children need 10-11 hours each night while preschoolers need 11-13 hours.
Sleep deprivation can cause ADHD-like symptoms that result in a child doing everything in his power to stay awake to learn; including acting up and impulsive behavior, according to the National Sleep Foundation. The child may not appear sleepy, but a lack of focus and inability to pay attention can be red flags. A child suffering from inadequate sleep can have issues with memory, communication, and creative and critical thinking skills.
Three Better Bedtime Tips:
1. Wear them out! An Australian study proves what parents have intrinsically known for years – an active kid is a better sleeper. The longer a child is sedentary during the day, the longer it actually takes for them to fall asleep at night, losing even more valuable sleeping time. Go out and play!
2. Take out the TV! A 2004 Sleep in America poll conducted on behalf of the National Sleep Foundation revealed the astonishing fact that 43% of school age children have a television in their bedrooms. Who thought this was a good idea? It inhibits the restful environment necessary for a young mind to settle quietly to sleep.
3. Same old routine! Children flourish when they know what to expect. Don’t deviate from bedtime and routines on weekends and summer holidays. Set a bedtime and stick with it.
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1) 2004 Sleep in America Poll, National Sleep Foundation, prepared by WB&A Market Research, March 2004
2) Study by Monash University (Melbourne) and University of Auckland, Archives of Disease in Childhood, Volume 94, Issue 9, July 2009