How to Help Your Child Sleep Better

News

Title
How to Help Your Child Sleep Better
Date
08/31/2015
Article

Kids are busy. With homework, sports, social activities and with so many digital distractions, it’s difficult for them to get the rest they need for proper mental and physical development. 5210+10, a pediatric obesity prevention program supported locally by Kohl's Cares, recommends at least 10 hours of sleep for children each night.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep problems and disorders are most common in school-aged children. “Poor or inadequate sleep can lead to mood swings, behavioral problems such as ADHD, and cognitive problems that impact their ability to learn in school.” Dr. Denise Sellers, clinical psychologist at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital, says sleep is especially critical during testing weeks. 

Here are some tips she’s shared to help your child get a better night’s sleep:

  • Set an afternoon and evening schedule, and try to be consistent on school days. For example: 
  1. Homework 4:00 p.m.
  2. Dinner 6:00 p.m.
  3. Bath 8:00 p.m.
  4. Bedtime 8:30 p.m.
  • Exercise and/or play outside every day to expend energy.
  • Limit and/or cut out foods with sugar and caffeine in the afternoon and evening.
  • Turn off video games and the television at least one hour before bedtime. This helps the brain to relax.
  • Have a “wind down” period about an hour before bedtime. Pick a relaxing activity like reading or bathing.
  • Keep the rest of the house as quiet as possible once everyone is in bed. This helps them to fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep throughout the night.

If your child has continued difficulty falling or staying asleep, don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician for help. Sleep well!

What is your bedtime routine with your children? Let us know on our Facebook or Twitter. Be sure to check out our articles about reducing screen time and zero sweetened drinks.