A good night’s sleep is about getting to sleep and staying asleep. Most children wake up by themselves in the morning if they’re getting enough good-quality sleep. Developing good sleeping habits in kids is very important for their better growth.
From infants and toddlers to school-aged kids and teens, parents want to know how many hours of sleep are recommended. While it’s true that sleep needs vary from one person to another, there are some very reasonable, science-based guidelines to help you determine whether your child is getting the sleep he or she needs to grow, learn, and play.
How to sleep better for children: tips
Keep to a regular daily routine.
The same waking time, meal times, nap time, and play times will help your child feel secure and comfortable, and help with a smooth bedtime. For young children, it helps to start early with a bedtime routine such as brush, book, and bed. Makes sure the sleep routines you use can be used anywhere, so you can help your child get to sleep wherever you may be.
Relax before bedtime
Encourage your child to relax before bedtime. Older children might like to wind down by reading a book or listening to gentle music. If your child takes longer than 30 minutes to fall asleep, your child might need a longer wind-down time before turning the lights out to go to sleep.
Keep regular sleep and wake times
Keep your child’s bedtimes and wake-up times within 1-2 hours of each other each day. This helps to keep your child’s body clock in a regular pattern. It’s a good idea for weekends and holidays, as well as school days.
Make sure your child feels safe at night
If your child feels scared about going to bed or being in the dark, you can praise and reward your child whenever they’re brave. Avoiding scary TV shows, movies and computer games can help too. Some children with bedtime fears feel better when they have a night light.
Keep older children’s naps early and short
Most children stop napping at 3-5 years of age. If your child is over five years is still napping during the day, try to keep the nap to no longer than 20 minutes and no later than early afternoon. Longer and later naps can make it harder for children to get to sleep at night.