Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bedtime Battles: Helping Children Get Good Sleep

It is 9 p.m.; you are ready for your kids to go to sleep, but are they?

As the school year begins, parents may find themselves struggling to defeat the technological temptations that keep children awake late at night.

Research shows that children who don’t get enough sleep are at higher risk for emotional and behavioral problems. Distractions like computers, T.V. and video games can keep children from getting the sleep they need to stay healthy.

study presented in June at SLEEP shows that adolescents who use technology (cell phone, DVDs, or computer games) and drink caffeine at night struggle to stay awake and alert during the day.

Parents can help children get the sleep they need by changing their nighttime behavior. Limiting use of technology at night and developing a nightly bedtime routine can lead to better sleep. Although it can be difficult to say no to your children, it is important to set limits and enforce bedtime.

In May, the Sleep Education blog
reported that using a bedtime routine for children between the ages of 7 months and 3 years helps them sleep better and improves their mother’s mood.

Experts recommend the following amounts of sleep for children:

  • Infants (3 to 11 months): 14 to 15 hours
  • Toddlers: 12 to 14 hours
  • Preschoolers: 11 to 13 hours
  • School-age children: 10 to 11 hours

Parents can find tips to help their child sleep better at Sleep

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