Helping Your Children (and You!) Sleep Well
Sleep Tips For Young Children (That’ll Help You Sleep, Too)
Children of all ages need plenty of sleep to grow, develop, and live healthily, but getting young ones to sleep can be a challenge
Luckily, with some planning and sleep hygiene mindfulness, you can help your kids sleep soundly. Once you’ve got a system down, you’ll even be able to sleep better yourself!
How much sleep do children need every night?
Sleep needs vary individually, but as a general rule of thumb, children between ages 6 and 13 should be getting 9 to 11 hours of sleep every night. If you’re looking for specific tips on getting your newborn to sleep, this article will help.
For more information on how much sleep your child should be getting at every stage of their life, take a look at this comprehensive chart from SleepFoundation.org. It even includes information about how much sleep is too much, an important but often overlooked part of sleeping healthily.
Tips for helping your kids sleep better
Now that you know how much sleep to aim for, try these suggestions for actually getting your kids to hit the hay:
- Create a bedtime routine, doing the same things each night. Relaxing activities like warm baths or showers, reading a book together, and listening to quiet music are all good options. And remember, no screens!
- Keep bedtimes and wake up times consistent on weekdays and weekends alike.
- Cut out caffeine and other sugary beverages in the afternoon, since they can have a negative impact on your child’s ability to fall asleep at night. Some children are more sensitive to caffeine than others, so set your cut-off times accordingly.
- Make your child’s sleep environment one that’s good for rest — a dark and quiet room, a bed that’s not overflowing with stuffed animals, and temperatures that are a bit cooler than the rest of the house.
- Don’t just dismiss childhood fears. Try to tackle them head on. You can get creative, too. Use a stuffed animal or action figure to stand guard against monsters under the bed or create a special “boogie man spray” with calming essential oils to scare away the bad guys.
- What you do during the day has a big impact on how well your child can sleep at night. Kids are designed to run, play, and explore, so make sure your young one gets enough physical activity during the day.
- Watch out for sleep disorders, especially if you seem to be doing everything right and your child still has trouble falling and staying asleep.
And, perhaps most importantly, aim to make sleep health a family priority. If you’re neglecting your own sleep needs your kids will notice, and the best way to teach them about the importance of quality sleep is to set a good example.