Philadelphia, Pa. (Ivanhoe Newswire)—For many families, bedtime is a challenge. Studies find that having a nightly routine is one way to help kids catch zzz’s, but what exactly should parents be doing each night?
A good night’s rest is important for a child’s health and well-being. But how can you help your little one develop good sleep habits? Research finds that bedtime routines are vital for getting adequate sleep. Yet, only about 65 percent of families in the United States report engaging in a routine five or more times a week.
In a new article, scientists reviewed literature on nightly habits that suggest certain activities can help children with sleep, including 1) providing children a healthy snack; 2) hygiene practices, such as bathing and brushing teeth; and 3) reading, singing, and physical contact, such as massaging or cuddling, before bed. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants under the age of 1 get 12-16 hours of sleep each day; children ages 1-2 get 11-14 hours; children ages 3-5 get between 10-13 hours; and kids ages 6-12 should get between 9-12 hours of sleep each night.
Studies find that kids who don’t get enough sleep may be more likely to develop high blood pressure, obesity, and even depression. Some other tips to help your kids fall asleep: limit caffeine consumption, stop the use of electronics at least an hour before bedtime, and dim the lights to help them wind down.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Executive Producer; Julie Marks, writer; Roque Correa, editor.
Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation