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Adequate Child Sleep

One of the key components of your child’s health is adequate sleep. It will make their bodies more prepared to fight off illness. When we sleep our bodies work to repair muscles, organs, and other cells in our bodies. Chemicals are released during sleep to strengthen our immune systems. Kids who get adequate sleep are more equipped physically and mentally to face the day. They are better able to concentrate and learn, have better behavior and have better physical and mental health. Kids who do not get adequate sleep are at higher risk for obesity, high blood pressure and depression.

A few things you can do to help your child get adequate sleep is:

  1. Have a bedtime routine. This will vary by age but the key is that we train our bodies to go to sleep around the same time every night and get up around the same time every morning.
  2. Do not eat too close to bedtime, especially sweets. Eating too close to bedtime can cause an elevated heart rate and delay the onset of deep, quality sleep.
  3. Limit screen time. No use of TVs, computers or other electronics within an hour or two of bedtime. And VERY importantly, do not allow your child to have a phone in their bedroom.

The following is a general guideline of the amount of sleep your child needs by age endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics:

AGE RECOMMENDED SLEEP PER 24 HOUR PERIOD

4-12 months: 12-16 hours (including naps)

1-2 years old: 11-14 hours (including naps)

3-5 years old: 10-13 hours (including naps)

6-12 years old: 9-12 hours

13-18 years old: 8-10 hours

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