Sleep is such an important part of our lives, but it often gets overlooked during our busy schedules. As adults, we understand when it is time to wind down in the evening and the importance of prioritizing sleep. It can be much harder for our children to understand this concept!
Encouraging your children to go to bed earlier or fall asleep at night can seem like a daunting task, but it will only benefit you and your children in the long run.
Our AFC Urgent Care Statesville team explains the importance of sleep and how to get your children to get more of it below, so read on.
What Is the Recommended Amount of Sleep for Kids?
When it comes to kids, the more sleep, the better! The CDC recommends at least 10 hours of sleep at night for your children ages 3 to 5. If you have teenagers, the range is between eight and 10 hours of sleep each night. Having this large chunk of uninterrupted sleep encourages growth, restoration and much-needed rest to support their development.
We know that bedtime can be a struggle for a lot of parents! The key is to make bedtime as relaxing and smooth as possible. Aim to shut off electronics like phones, tablets and the TV early in the evening and choose quiet activities or go for a family walk after dinner.
Signs That Your Child Isn’t Getting Enough Sleep
- Fatigue throughout the day, especially in the afternoon
- Under-eye circles or red eyes
- Difficulty concentrating during the day
- Trouble waking up in the morning
What Does a Bedtime Routine Do?
When you become a parent or caregiver, almost everyone will tell you to establish a proper bedtime routine as soon as possible. This helps create a predictable pattern for your child and can help him or her recognize the steps before bedtime. It can also help your child fall asleep more easily once it is time to get tucked in and turn off the light.
Focus on calming, relaxing activities about 20 to 30 minutes before bedtime. For many families, this looks like reading, telling stories, taking a warm bath or shower and brushing teeth. Try to keep it consistent and around the same time each night. If your child feels calm and safe, hopefully a long and restful sleep is near!
How to Encourage More Sleep
- Relax before bedtime.
- Keep regular sleep and wake times consistent.
- Remove screens like TVs, phones and tablets.
- Make sure your child’s room is quiet and dark.
Your family is always our priority! If you have questions or need to be seen by a medical provider, stop by AFC Urgent Care Statesville today.