Kids are busy! Between school, running around with friends, going to after-school activities and doing homework, making sure your kids have enough energy for the day is important. A good night’s sleep is crucial for body restoration and brain development. On average, children aged five to 12 need 10-11 hours of sleep each night.
Getting those 10-11 hours is increasingly difficult with the rise of electronic devices. The National Sleep Foundation recently found that three out of four American children sleep with an electronic device in their bedroom, which often disrupts sleep patterns and impacts children’s mental health. Poor or inadequate sleep can lead to mood swings, behavioral problems, stress, anxiety and cognitive problems.
Here are some tips to ensure your children get a better night’s sleep:
- Set appropriate and consistent bedtimes – Setting a regular bedtime and wake time helps keep children’s internal body clock on a 24-hour cycle.
- Set boundaries for electronics use at night – Turn off electronics one hour before bedtime. The use of video games or tablets is mentally stimulating and makes it difficult to fall asleep right away.
- Encourage reading or listening to music before bedtime – Let your child’s mind wind down from the busy day with relaxing activities like reading or listening to music.
- Set a good example with your own sleeping habits – As with most things in parenting, lead by example.
NOTE: This information should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of a mental health condition. Call 612-871-1454 to learn more about Washburn Center’s mental health services for children.
Information sourced from The National Sleep Foundation, TIME, and HealthyChildren.org