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Is Your Child Getting Enough Sleep to Reach Their Full Potential?

 

We all need regular and sufficient sleep - whatever our age.

For example, children aged between one and three need 12 to 14 hours’ sleep in a 24-hour cycle.

The recommendation for preteens is up to 11 hours!

Ensuring your children get their quota of sleep is important for the parents' well being and crucial for your child to reach their full potential – emotionally, physically and cognitively.

Pediatricians have found that those children who are not getting enough sleep may experience problems with learning, attention, hyperactivity and behavior.  

 

What happens when your child is sleep-deprived?

  • They can seem over-energised to compensate for their exhaustion.
  • Even though they may not have ADHD, they could display similar symptoms.
  • Parents may not be aware that homework, sports and screen time are all sleep thieves.

 

There are biological risks too

Research by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine has discovered that the growth hormone needed for tissue and muscle development is mostly released during sleep.

Ensuring healthy sleep habits can also help prevent your child from developing chronic illnesses later in life.  This is because ‘sleep debt’ increases their risk of obesity, diabetes and a suppressed immune system.   Regular sleep patterns ensure the neuroendocrine system and glucose metabolism are working properly.

 

Getting into the habit of nap-time and bedtime routines

These routines help to give children - and especially toddlers - a sense of time, teaching them to anticipate and understand when it is time to sleep.

These routines should be consistent.  Short in duration and not too late in the evening - a maximum of thirty minutes.  Too long and your child can become over stimulated and overtired.  But while they should be consistent, such routines don't have to be exactly the same.  For example, a shower instead of a bath or singing a song instead of reading a book.  

 

There are different options for sleep training

  1. Controlled crying or ‘check and console’ (also called the Ferber method) where the child is allowed to cry for longer periods of time each night with the parent returning to pat and shush for comfort.
  2. Gradual withdrawal where the child is allowed time to self-settle for a few minutes when it wakes up during the night. If needed, the parent re-enters the room to soothe verbally for a few moments before leaving again.
  3. Pickup/put down where the child is picked up to soothe if crying and then placed down to sleep in repeated cycles until they are asleep.

 

Some ideas for bedtime routines for older children

Take back nighttime by avoiding screen time before bed and introducing quiet time with your child instead.  It becomes a great bonding exercise and, as your child grows older, you chat about the day, their friends and their activities.

This can help parents to unwind too so that they also feel more relaxed.

 

Recommended sleep requirements for different age groups

This is a rough guide as obviously every child is slightly different.

 

NEWBORNS (0 to 3 MONTHS)
Recommended: 14 to 17 hours
May be appropriate: 11 to 13 hours (Not less than 11 hours)
18 to 19 hours (Not more than 19 hours)

INFANTS (4 to 11 MONTHS)
Recommended: 12 to 15 hours
May be appropriate: 10 to 11 hours (Not less than 10 hours)
16 to 18 hours (Not more than 18 hours)

TODDLERS (1 to 2 YEARS)
Recommended: 11 to 14 hours
May be appropriate: 9 to 10 hours (Not less than 9 hours)
15 to 16 hours (Not more than 16 hours)

PRESCHOOLERS (3 to 5 YEARS)
Recommended: 10 to 13 hours
May be appropriate: 8 to 9 hours (Not less than 8 hours)
14 hours (Not more than 14 hours)

SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN (6 to 13 YEARS)

Recommended: 9 to 11 hours
May be appropriate: 8 hours (Not less than 8 hours)
12 hours (Not more than 12 hours)

TEENAGERS (14 to 17 YEARS)
Recommended: 8 to 10 hours
May be appropriate: 8 hours (Not less than 8 hours)
11 hours (Not more than 11 hours)

YOUNG ADULTS (18 to 25 YEARS)
Recommended: 7 to 9 hours
May be appropriate: 7 hours (Not less than 7 hours)
10 to 11 hours (Not more than 11 hours)

  

The ingredients in our Sleep Aid Formula are soothing and will relax you and your child (from age 4) and aid in sleeping. It's a perfect way to enjoy a good night's rest safely and naturally. Massage one or two drops on the temples and the back of neck thirty minutes before bedtime.