There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep…waking up feeling rested, rejuvenated, and ready to tackle the day.
And yet did you know that most children don’t get the proper amount of quality sleep they need to perform at their best? Even small amounts of missed sleep can produce what some experts call a “sleep debt”, resulting in chronically overtired children. That can lead to irritability, hyperactivity, behavioral issues, and poor performance in school.
While most parents don’t intentionally deprive their children of sleep, long work hours, after-school activities, and other lifestyle factors can cause bedtimes to be pushed back, naps to be missed, and earlier-than-normal wake up times. If those missed hours aren’t made up, negative consequence can result that can last a lifetime.
To ensure that your child is getting the proper amount of sleep, start by keeping a simple log for a few days. Monitor bedtimes, nap times, and wake times. Keep track of how long it typically takes them to fall asleep and learn what you can about sleep quality…a monitor can help a lot.
Next is learning how much sleep your child should be getting. Here’s a general guideline from The National Sleep Foundation:
- Newborns 0 – 2 Months Old: 12 to 18 Hours
- Infants 3 – 11 Months Old: 14 to 15 Hours
- Toddlers 1 – 3 Years Old: 12 to 14 Hours
- Preschoolers 3 – 5 Years Old: 11 to 13 Hours
- School Age Children 5 – 10 Years Old: 10 to 11 Hours
- Teens 11 – 17 Years Old: 8.5 to 9.5 Hours
Next, make adjustments as needed. Earlier to rise, earlier to bed, just as one example. Set up a consistent bedtime routine; perhaps it’s reading a story or drawing a warm bath.
You can also set a sleep-worthy mood with dim lighting, a sound machine, and black-out curtains. Limit television and video game time – plus foods and drinks containing caffeine and sugar – before bed. Finally, learn to recognize symptoms of tiredness and, if you see signs of a sleeping problem, speak to your healthcare professional.
Here’s how Burton Can Help
If you think a bedroom dimmer switch can help, we’re the ones to turn to. Or, how about a motion-sensor night light that turns on only when your child gets up in the dark. Then there’s the issue of bedroom temperature. Heating systems with uneven airflow, for example, can make one room colder than the others…something we can readily fix. Whatever the home comfort or electrical need, you always can count on Burton.