child is sleeping in the bed

Just as important as having a healthy diet and regular exercise, developing healthy sleep habits is essential in the growth of children. Today, most parents are not aware of the amount of critical sleep their children need daily. Having proper sleep habits will not only allow your child to maintain good health but it will also improve mental learning and encourage overall physical development as well.

Understanding Healthy Sleep

How do we define healthy sleep? For instance, a night of healthy sleep will require the following:

  • Sufficient sleep
  • Uninterrupted quality sleep
  • Age-appropriate sleep and naps
  • Maintaining a regular sleep schedule

​Not having enough sleep will sometimes result in your child being grouchy, temperament, stressed, as well as having difficulty in learning. Over time, sleep deprivation may occur which will then affect the overall development in your child’s growth.

For optimal growth, alertness, and health, let us share with you how you can implement proper sleep habits to ensure healthy sleep habits for your child.

  • Ensure sufficient sleep as a family:As a parent, your child will look up to you as a role model in setting good examples and habits. By ensuring that everyone in your family has sufficient sleep as part of a healthy lifestyle, your child will develop these sleep habits throughout his or her life. Prioritizing sufficient sleep with the right amount of eating and exercising will not only lead to a healthier development in your child but as a family overall.
  • Maintaining a regular routine: Setting a regular waking up and sleeping time is essential in having a smooth and uninterrupted bedtime. For instance, you can do so by encouraging your child to have an early night so that he or she can have enough playtime the next day. Being active in the day and knowing when to start resting will allow your child to get used to such sleep routines.
  • Set boundaries: Often, most children today are being entertained with laptops, tablets, computers, and TVs. It is important to ensure that all devices are turned off at least 30minutes to an hour before bedtime to slow down your child’s brain activity and prepare for the night. By doing this, it will prevent sleep disruption to ensure a smooth and sufficient sleep time.
  • Create a comfortable sleep environment:To create a proper sleeping environment, you can remove all entertainment devices and toys to discourage sleep distraction. You can, however, add in a security blanket or your child’s favorite soft toy.
  • Avoid intensive activities:Apart from homework, children may have several activities throughout the day. Avoid scheduling too many lessons, games, or playtime during the day. By having enough rest or nap times during the day, it will allow your child to have sufficient time to wind down before the night. Being overtired will affect a child’s mood during the night, thus, making a challenge for them to fall asleep.

Sleeping hours in a child will vary from infants up to school-aged children. Below is a guide on the recommended sleep time according to their age.

  • Newborns: 10 – 18 hours a day
  • Infants: 9 – 13 hours a day
  • Toddlers: 11 – 15 hours a day
  • Pre-schoolers: 11 – 14 hours a night
  • School-aged children: 9 – 12 hours a night

To develop optimal performance and an overall healthy lifestyle, it is essential to start developing your child’s healthy sleep habits at a young age. With a little bit of patience and knowledge of a proper sleep routine, you can start implementing these sleep habits to your child’s daily lifestyle.

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