We all know that sleeping is essential to a healthy life. Adults welcome it, children fight it and teenagers have patterns of their own. But, it’s important to promote healthy sleep habits in early childhood, and it’s especially important as children reach adolescence to ensure that they’re able to get sufficient sleep.
How many hours should your children sleep?
According to the recommendations:
- Babies aged 4–12 months need 12–16 hours per day, including naps
- Children of 1–2 years should sleep 11–14 hours per day
- Children aged 3–5 need 10–13 hours a day
- Six to 12-year-olds function best on 9–12 hours a day
- 13–18-year-olds need 8–10 hours
The recommended hours regularly results in better overall health: improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, emotional stability, quality of life, mental and physical health.
What happens when children get too little sleep?
- Attention, behavior and learning problems.
- Obesity and diabetes.
What if your child is sleeping – and sleeping?
If your teenager is constantly draped across the couch, fast asleep, you need to chat about the possibility that they’re trying to escape facing the world. Sleeping too much may be a warning signal of depression. Apart from the link with mental health problems, too much sleep is also associated with hypertension, diabetes and obesity.
Encouraging better sleep
Making sure there is ample time for sleep is one of the best ways to promote a healthy lifestyle for a child of any age,
- Try to go to sleep at the same time every night to regulate your body’s natural rhythms.
- Sign off from that Facebook chat, close the computer, switch off the cellphone and dim the lights.
- Get some exercise every day, preferably outdoors.
- Eat properly. Avoid fizzy cooldrinks, excess caffeine and fast foods.
- Try natural supplements
Advice for parents.
If you’re concerned about your youngster sleeping too little or too much, consult your healthcare practitioner.
And while we’re on the topic, how much sleep should you be getting? If you’re in your early 20s, you need 6–11 hours shut-eye a night, and 6–10 hours if you’re between 26 and 64. Older than 64? Five to nine hours are perfect.
The SpineAlign Team