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  • Writer's picturePediatric Consultants

Importance of Sleep

Do your kids seem to be sick more frequently than their peers? Or maybe they seem to be more anxious than you remember being during childhood? The answer might be found in their sleeping habits.

Getting the right sleep for the right amount of time at the right time is essential to maintaining proper mental and physical health, and overall quality of life. A good night’s sleep has been linked to better learning and healthier bodily function. On the converse side, sleep deficiency has been connected with difficulty making decisions and learning, controlling emotions, anxiety, depression, higher risk of chronic health problems, higher risk of obesity, and more.

So what constitutes a good’s night sleep? According to the National Sleep Foundation, kids ages 6-13 should sleep 9-11 hours a night, and teens ages 14-17 should sleep 8-10 hours per night. But the quality of sleep is just as important as the time asleep. Also try to:

  • Stick to the same sleep schedule (even on weekends).

  • Stick to a relaxing routine to get ready for bed, and avoid spending time in front of bright lights too close to going to bed.

  • Avoid naps during the day, especially if you have trouble sleeping at night.

  • Exercise daily, which helps establish better sleeping patterns.

  • Establish proper sleeping conditions. The ideal temperature for sleeping is between 60 and 70 degrees, and your room should be as dark and quiet as possible.

  • Make sure your mattress and pillow are comfortable. This may seem like common sense, but they are frequently overlooked or forgotten about.

  • Avoid eating a full meal for 2-3 hours before going to bed. If you are hungry at night, eat a light snack no later than 45 minutes for bed.

  • Spend the last hour before going to sleep doing something calm and relaxing, that does not involve an electronic screen with unnatural light.

If you have any questions, please call either office or reach out to us through our website.

Information compiled from articles from the National Sleep Foundation and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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