In order for their brains and bodies to function normally, your kids need the right amount of sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep will help your kids to stay healthy, fight illness, improve their moods, and give them the best possible start to the day.
If you want to help your kids to get a good night’s sleep, the first thing you need to understand is exactly how much sleep they need. Your child’s sleep needs will vary depending on their age.
Sleep durations for different ages
The American National Sleep Foundation recently released a report to revisit their recommendations for sleep duration based on age. During this study, eighteen leading sleep scientists looked at every aspect of sleep health to determine the ideal amount of sleep through the lifespan.
For children, their results for the daily recommendation for sleep hours are as follows:
- Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours.
- Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours.
- Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours.
- Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours.
- School age children (6-13): 9-11 hours.
- Teenagers 14-17): 8-10 hours.
- Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours.
These ranges aim to give you an approximate recommended number. Of course, individual circumstances vary. Some children need more/less sleep than others. But by knowing the recommended number of hours for your child’s age, you can help ensure they’re getting the amount of sleep they need.
How to help children sleep
If your child is struggling to sleep or get the right amount of sleep, there are lifestyle changes you could make to help them improve their sleep health. The Alaska Sleep Clinic recommends:
- Creating a routine around bedtime. This is the most important, as it helps your child learn to recognise their own circadian rhythms. Structure and routine helps kids to thrive. For the best results, start with a wind-down routine of 15-30 minutes where they turn off TV or devices, put their toys away, play relaxing music, dim lights and talk softly, say goodnight to other people in the house, put a favourite toy in bed, etc. This will be followed by their actual bedtime routine – having a bath or shower, brushing teeth, putting on pajamas, having a bedtime story and a goodnight kiss before lights out. We recommend using Sleepezi babies sleep mist to help create a relaxing scent association to bedtime
- Creating a perfect sleep environment. We sleep best when we’re a in a space that’s dark, quiet, and cool. Some children may need a nightlight, and if your house is noisy you might also use a noise machine or fan to help them sleep. Remove screens like computers, tablets, and TVs from their bedroom to avoid stimulation.
- Avoiding meals and caffeine before bedtime. Things like soft drinks, energy drinks and even some chocolate contain caffeine, which will keep your child up all night. Also, eating meals too close to bedtime can cause indigestion, which will make falling asleep more difficult. If your child wants a snack before bed, give them a warm glass of milk or a healthy snack like some apple slices or cheese and crackers.
- Helping them exercise regularly. Children are balls of energy. If they don’t burn that energy off during the day they may struggle to wind down at night. Make sure any exercise or vigorous playtime is over at least three hours before bed, or it could have the opposite effect!
- Using Sleepezi Babies Sleep Tonic. Sleepezi can help your child fall asleep easier, sleep soundly throughout the night, and wake up feeling refreshed and ready for another day.
Is your child getting all the sleep they need? As a parent, what can you do to help them create better sleep habit for themselves?