Sleep and Bedtime Routine
Posted on 12th August 2021 at 15:20
Quality sleep is absolutely essential for your child’s growth and development! Sleep is a very important part of your child’s mental and physical health as it allows their mind and body to recover and rest.
There are lots of things you can do to help your child get a good night’s sleep as often as possible.
Below are some benefits of good sleeping habits:
1. Sleep promotes growth - you've probably had mornings where you think your baby has grown overnight, and you'd be right! 50 percent of children’s deep sleep is considered to be essential for adequate growth.
2. Sleep affects weight – too little sleep can cause children to become overweight. When we've eaten enough to feel full, our fat cells create a hormone called leptin, which signals us to stop eating. Sleep deprivation may impact this hormone. Tired children eat differently to well rested children.
3. Sleep helps beat germs - during sleep, children produce proteins known as cytokines, which the body relies on to fight infection, illness, and stress.
4. Sleep increases attention span - children who consistently sleep fewer than ten hours a night before age 3 are three times more likely to have hyperactivity and impulsivity problems.
5. Sleep reduces injury risk – children are far clumsier and impulsive when they don't get enough sleep, setting them up for accidents.
Recommended amount of sleep:
Newborns (0 to 2 months) - 16 to 18 hours (3 to 4 hours at a time)
Babies (2 months to 6 months) - 14 to 16 hours
Older babies (6 months to 1 year) - 14 hours
Toddlers (1 to 3 years) - 10 to 13 hours
Pre-schoolers (3 to 5 years) -10 to 12 hours
School-aged children (5 to 10 years) - 10 to 12 hours
Creating a good bedtime routine:
By 3 months old, your child should have a good, consistent bedtime routine that lasts no longer than two hours, including bath and bedtime stories.
Try to maintain the same temperature and level of light in your child's room throughout all the seasons and when on holiday. Turn off all screens too, because research suggests that light generated by computers and tablets can keep your little ones wide awake for longer. Studies show that two hours of screen time right before bed is enough to lower levels of melatonin -a chemical that occurs naturally at night and signals sleep to the body.
Below is a list of foods that may aid sleep, there is still research looking into sleepy foods, but parents find this list useful. Eating these foods can help your child’s body produce a hormone called melatonin which helps regulate sleep.:
Dairy, yogurt, milk and cheese
We are always here to give advice and talk through any worries you have with your child about their sleep, please don’t hesitate in letting us know.
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