This week, our friend Kelly Nicolii from Casper mattress is here to share her ideas about the importance sleep has for our children’s development, along with some ways that we can help them get their best night of sleep!
Every human needs some type of sleep. In fact, every creature on the planet requires some kind of rest.
For some adults, four or five hours is enough. They feel refreshed and ready to take on another day. Some people require six to eight hours of sleep to get that same restored feeling. There is nothing bad about needing more or less sleep, as long as you get enough for your body to repair and re-energize.
When it comes to children, it seems like they can sleep all day—from much needed naps to far earlier bedtimes, sleep as an adolescent seems like a breeze! Children inherently need more rest than adults…their sleep is more turbulent at a young age and the required hours they need fluctuates almost each year they grow older. Their rapidly developing bodies and minds require more sleep for the proper mental and physical growth they endure.
Why Sleep is So Important for Children:
• Sleep Is a Requirement for a Healthy Brain
• Sleep Helps Your Child Grow
• Sleep Aids with Weight Loss or Normal Weight Gain
• Better Sleep Helps to Fight Infections
• Sleep Makes It Easier to Concentrate
Ways to Help Your Child Achieve Better Sleep:
Read them a bedtime story. Either being read to or reading a book before bed is a healthy bedtime ritual for children of any age. This is a great way to relax the mind and unwind before bed.
Create a nightly routine. Creating and revisiting familiar, consistent routines before bed can return huge dividends in the ability to fall asleep quickly. Young brains crave routine. Anything you can instill that will habitually cue a busy mind that it’s bedtime is beneficial.
Promote regular exercise. Physical activity improves sleeping patterns. It’s important that children get plenty of exercise during the day, because that will help them wind down quicker at night. However, keep their last playtime at least 3 hours before bedtime or they may still be too stimulated for sleep.
Create an ideal sleeping environment. To help promote sleeping, it’s best to keep a child’s room dark, quiet, and cool. Some children want at least a little light or noise in their room, so a nightlight, noise machine, or fan is perfectly acceptable. Consider an easily washable pillow for moments of sickness or allergy seasons.
Offer a bedtime snack. Bedtime snacks should be different than daytime snacks. Certain foods and drinks can actually steal from your child’s slumber. Learn more about the best and worst bedtime snacks for kids here.
With the right amount of sleep, you will have a well developed, happy, and attentive child. Check out the visual below for more information on recommended sleep durations for children by age!