Everybody needs sleep. Adults generally require about seven to nine hours of sleep, newborns need more than 16 hours per day. Children fall somewhere in between, with teens needing nine to 10 hours per day and preschoolers 11 to 12 (this amount can include naps).
Sleep plays an important role in healthy growth and development. Our body needs the deep rest it gets during sleep. It helps prevent injury and illness and helps our brain develop well.
Sleep also helps us remember what we’ve learned, it helps us pay attention and concentrate, solve problems and think of new ideas. Studies show that people can focus better when they’ve had enough sleep, that’s especially important for kids during school. Having enough sleep simply makes us feel better during the day.
Here are some things that can help anyone get into a good sleep routine:
- Go to sleep at about the same time every night.
- Do the same relaxing activities every night, like brushing teeth and reading a story. These activities will help you calm down.
- Avoid drinks that have caffeine in them, such as coffee or cola.
- Get some exercise every day (but not too close to bedtime).
- Take a nice warm bath or shower before bed.
Setting the stage for good sleep now is an important habit that can make a difference in your child’s future health. Check out our “Super Sleep” lesson for more information. Establishing good, life-long, health habits starts now!