Back to school time can be a difficult for everyone. Schedules are changing, and lazy summer days are a thing of the past. As your family gets back into their normal routine, pay close attention to the sleeping habits of your little ones. Sleep is extremely important for children, and their ability to function and concentrate during the school day. When children no longer need a daily nap (after age 4), you will need to make sure they are maximizing their nighttime sleeping.
Below are the suggested hours per night, for your school-aged children:
5 year olds: 11 hours, 30 minutes
6-7 year olds: 11 hours
8-10 year olds: 10 hours
11- 13 year olds: 9 hours, 30 minutes
13-16 year olds: 9 hours
Bedtime can be a difficult time in any household. Below are tips to help children sleep longer, and with less protests:
- Practice a routine. When children follow a night time routine, it will help them get used to bedtime. Perhaps it’s a nighttime story, a back rub, or song. Whatever works best for your family. Make sure you and your partner, or spouse, agree on the routine to keep it consistent.
- Stay screen-free. The bright lights and images from a screen can cause difficulties falling asleep, even after they are shut off. Make it a rule to turn off screens an hour or more before bedtime, to avoid excessive tossing and turning.
- Temperature control. Sleeping in an extremely hot or cold environment can cause sleeping difficulties. Try to keep your children’s rooms cool, and dress them appropriately.
- Bed time rules. Setting a few rules for bedtime along with your routine can prevent children from always asking “can I have one more…”. If you set some boundaries like: 2 books per night, only one song, etc, you will manage the expectations of your child a bit easier.
If your child is having extreme difficulties with sleep, be sure to get in touch with your PCG pediatrician for further assistance.