Are Your Kids Getting Enough Sleep?

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Are Your Kids Getting Enough Sleep?

If you have older children, the answer is most likely no. Only 31% of high schoolers reported getting at least 8 hours of sleep before school, when ideally teens need 9 or so hours of sleep. Sleep deprivation on a growing child's body can have even more serious effects than on adults, including weight gain, behavior problems and worse retention of new information. Sleep times vary depending on the age of the child, but as a general rule, the younger the child, the more sleep they need. Toddlers need 11-14 hours a day to function effectively, while elementary and middle school children need anywhere from 9-11 hours a day, and teens need 8-10 hours.

One solution is to add a nap into your daily routine. Younger children are often expected to nap to get all the sleep they need, but this practice can be forgotten or ignored by teens. The body clock of teens resets at puberty, making them more alert later into the day and often making it difficult to fall asleep until 10 PM or later. Luckily, kids, teens, and adults can all benefit from a quick 30-45-minute power nap during the day. These naps, when taken early enough in the day, give that extra boost to get through the rest of the day until bedtime.

With children, not getting enough sleep is detrimental to growth in more ways than one; children who sleep less than 10 and a half hours a day by age 3 are almost 50% more likely to be obese than children who do. Also, lack of sleep does a number on a child's immune system, making them more at risk for colds, flus, and other nasty bugs. In order to keep your child healthy and rested, here are some tips to make bedtime easier:

A good strategy to make bedtime a breeze, especially with younger ones, is to get set in a routine. Routine makes it easy on children to get used to going to bed at a certain time, or after they do certain things. For example, a popular strategy is to use the 4 B's; Bath, Brush, Books and Bed. This strategy helps ease the toddler into a bedtime lull, giving better and longer sleep for the toddler, and easier good-nights for the parents.

While snacking before bed is not a good idea for most adults, Children (and parents) may find bedtime easier when the kids have some food in their belly. Try some healthy options like a bowl of cereal, graham crackers, or a piece of fruit. In moderation, these snacks work well to help put a restless child to sleep.

Especially for younger children, bedtime means separation, and that can be easier for kids with a personal object, like a doll, teddy bear, or blanket. It can provide a sense of security and control that comforts and reassures your child before she falls asleep.

For more info on exactly what you are putting yourself through when you skimp on sleep, check out our post 5 effects of sleep deprivation you may not know about. Hopefully it will help convince you that sleep isn't for the weak, it's for your best week.

At Mattress Warehouse, we know just how important family is. In fact, we've had the same family in charge since we opened in 1989. Mattress Warehouse wide selection of mattresses offer the perfect choice for anyone searching for the mattress right for yourself or for your family.

 

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