Every living creature needs to sleep. It turns out that sleep is the main job of the brain during early development! Newborn brains don’t know this immediately, though. It takes some time to develop Circadian rhythms, or the sleep-wake cycle. They are regulated by light and dark and these rhythms begin to develop at about six weeks, and by Most infants have a regular sleep-wake cycle by three to six months. By two, most children have spent more time asleep than awake!
Sleep is especially important for kids. A solid sleep duration for their age on a regular basis leads to improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life, and mental and physical health. Not getting enough sleep each night can be pretty ugly. School-aged children typically need between 9 and 11 hours of sleep.
So what can you do to make sure your kids get the sleep they need? Quite a bit, actually. Along with many other sleep professionals, we suggest that all screens be turned off 30 minutes before bedtime and that TV, computers, and other screens not be allowed in children’s bedrooms. For infants and young children, establishing a bedtime routine is important to ensuring children get adequate sleep each night. The American Association of Pediatrics program, “Brush, Book, Bed,” is simple and effective.
1. Each night, help your children to brush their teeth.
2. Read a favorite book (or two)!
3. Get to bed at a regular time each night.
Having a predictable nighttime routine will help them understand and learn to expect what comes next. Additionally, routines may ease the stress that some families experience at nighttime. If your kids are having sleep trouble, they might have something more serious going on. Feel free to call our office to see how we can help!