The beginning of school means that establishing good sleep-habits with your elementary-age child is even more important. Summer usually means sleeping in and staying up later than normal, but school requires waking up early and getting into bed early enough to get enough sleep. But how much sleep does your kid really need? The National Sleep Foundation recommends between 9 to 11 hours of sleep for children between the ages of 6-13. That means that a wake up time of 7 am should require a bedtime of at least 10 pm (though 8 pm would be more ideal).
Getting your little boy or girl to head to bed when you want them to is a whole other issue. I’ve done some research and included a few tips for getting your kiddo to stick with their bedtime and get enough sleep at night.
Set the bedtime
Consistency is key with kids. Pick an appropriate bedtime and enforce it each night, even on the weekends. This will get their internal clock into rhythm.
Some kids may insist that playing on the iPad helps them wind down, but in reality studies have shown that screen-time right before bed actually disrupts the ability to fall asleep and have a restful night. Make sure that screen-time is ended at least an hour before bed, and that other unwinding techniques are included instead.
Make bedtime relaxing
Warm showers, bedtime stories, and chatting with your child about their day before tucking them in are all great ways to make bedtime special and relaxing, increasing the likelihood that they will fall asleep faster and stay asleep through the night.
The monster under the bed
Lots of kids have fears of the dark or that there may be a monster lurking around. Instead of shrugging off their fears, hear them out and do what you can to help them feel more comfortable. This doesn’t necessarily mean letting them sleep with you in bed, but buying a fun night-light or investigating their closet isn’t hard to do, and can make all the difference to them and their restful night.
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