sleep tips for kids - mercy health
Healthy Living

Sleep Tips for Kids

Nov 8 2017

More effective than counting sheep: Use these sleep tips for kids.

Did you know elementary-aged kids should get 9-12 hours of sleep a night? A large percentage of children don’t reach these recommendations. Therefore, they are classified as sleep deprived. Use these sleep tips for kids to help your child be better rested and more energized throughout the day.

Dr. Suzanne Lekson, a physician at Mercy Health, says developing a daily schedule is one of the most important things parents can do to ensure their children are getting enough sleep. It’s not just the quantity of sleep that matters. Eating healthy, practicing regular meal times, exercise schedules, and going to bed and waking up at similar times is hugely important. A child can only withstand being about 30 minutes off from their regular schedule without experiencing an impact on their behavior.

Lack of sleep contributes to irritability, poor concentration, an increase in ADHD symptoms, hypertension, obesity, depression and other mental health conditions. And it’s not just quantity of sleep that matters — low quality sleep can cause these symptoms as well. Limiting screen time and developing a bedtime routine can help make sure your child falls asleep more easily and is uninterrupted throughout the night.

As children reach puberty, their sleep needs change to 8-10 hours a night. However, just like adults, no two children will follow or need the same sleep patterns. Prioritize learning your child’s specific needs early on, so you can establish good sleep habits at a young age.

Think something may be off in your or your child’s sleep routine? Mercy Health treats sleeping disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome. With doctors that specialize in both children and adults, we’re equipped to treat all ages. Call 513-952-5000 to begin resting better today.

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