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Kid's Health

Is your child getting enough rest?

Child Sleeping at School
Posted by Shelby Sanderson Monday, October 8, 2011

If your child is cranky and irritable during the day or seems to have trouble concentrating in school it could be that they aren’t getting enough sleep. This is a problem because children need to get their sleep and plenty of it.

Babies and newborns usually show signs that they are sleepy by rubbing their eyes, yawning and just falling asleep. Unlike babies, toddlers are a little harder to determine if they are sleepy. As a matter of fact, they spend a lot time fighting sleep and trying to convince you that they aren’t sleepy. They might fight going to bed at night and taking naps during the day, but getting their sleep is very important. Experts suggest that toddlers get between 12 to 14 hours a sleep in a twenty four hour time period.

Sleep is important in your child’s development as they grow. The amount of sleep may change as they grow but getting the required amount of sleep for their age is vital. Here are a few ways to help ensure your child gets the correct amount of sleep:

Implement a predictable bedtime ritual. For example, have them sing a song before bedtime or have them march to their bedrooms. It can be anything as long as they know once this ritual is over, it’s time for bed.

Make sure they have a safe and comfortable place to sleep. Their beds should be clean and free of clutter. The room should be dark and quiet so that they aren’t easily distracted.

Be consistent. Set a bedtime and stick to it. As children get older they may tend to try to draw out bedtime by asking for water or another bedtime story. You will have to decide when to say lights out.

Experts also say that children – including – teenagers need more sleep than adults. According to studies performed by the Mayo Clinic, adolescents need about nine hours of sleep a night in order to maintain the best possible daytime attention. In high school, homework, school activities and part time jobs can become more important than sleep.

Lack of sleep in teens can result in:

For adolescents/teens who do not get enough sleep, daytime
sleepiness increases and performance decreases. (Source: ―Adolescents and Sleep: A Guide to the Sleep-Deprived World of Teenagers‖, 2005)

The amount of sleep needed may vary, but the best way to determine if your child is getting enough sleep is see how they act when they are awake.

Getting enough sleep will result in happier, healthier children.

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