This week is truly all about sleep! Today (March 13th, 2015) is Word Sleep Day and we just passed National Napping Day! (I know, best holidays ever, right?!) This year's slogan for World Sleep Day is "when sleep is sound, health and happiness abound" and at Well Rested Baby we could not agree more. Baby, toddler, preschooler, 3rd grader, high-schooler, adult…no matter your age, sleep is one of our most important biological needs. As our favorite sleep guru Dr. Marc Weissbluth has said,” sleep is to the brain as food is to the body.”
Our bodies regulate sleep in much the same way that they regulate eating, drinking, and breathing. This suggests that sleep serves a similar critical role in our health and well-being. On this World Health Day, we want to share 3 easy steps to ensure your entire family is getting the sleep that they need so "health and happiness abound."
1. Know How Roughly Much Sleep is Needed and Insist On it
Knowing roughly how much sleep your child needs to be happy and healthy will allow you to ensure they are getting the sleep they need.
The amount of sleep our bodies need changes as we age.
· Very young babies sleep a lot - 16-20 hours a day
· 12-18 months still need about 14-16 hours of sleep per day
· Toddlers and preschoolers require 12-14 hours of sleep per day
· School-aged kids still need 10-12 hours of sleep per day
· High-schoolers need 9 hours of sleep per day
There is a whole lot of growing going on, and sleep is required for brain growth and development!
Children who are no longer napping, will need to achieve all of their sleep at night.
As we cannot count on our kids to sleep-in in the morning, we need to make sure bedtime is early enough to achieve their total needed hours of sleep at night. Remember, a good rule of thumb is to watch how your child acts in the evening hours. If they are calm and good-mannered, they are getting enough sleep! If they are hyperactive or cranky,
2. Make Sure Bedrooms are Conducive to Good Sleep
Most of us know the ABC’s of a proper sleep environment for our babies and toddlers:
· a dark room (black out blinds and no sources of light)
· free from distractions (mobiles, toys, music),
· with white noise and
· a temperature between 65-70 degrees.
Once our kids get older, we often forget about creating a bedroom that promotes good sleep hygiene, but it is just as important. No matter our age, our bedrooms should be very similar to the environment that you created in your nursery. This means that TVs, smart phones, computers, and tablets should be turned off and left outside of the bedroom.
3. Routines are Important
Pre-sleep routines are a necessity whether you are 4 months or 40 years old. Routines help our bodies to unwind and train our body and brain that sleep is forthcoming. Set the tone for sleep by practicing the same actions prior to sleep - this time should be calming, quiet, and screen-free!
The Take-Away: Sleep is critical to our health and development. As parents, we need to be guardians of our children’s sleep. Yes as soon as your child is old enough to challenge you! There will be times when they will fight you on sleep and try to push boundaries. Don’t let them! You wouldn’t let them eat junk food, so don’t allow junk sleep.
Well Rested Baby is a team of certified sleep consultants that helps families like yours identify, address, and correct their children’s sleep issues. WRB works with moms and dad’s to create customized sleep plans that reflect a family’s comfort level and philosophies. When paired with WRB’s 360-approach, the entire family is set up for sleep success. WRB offers a variety of support packages. Contact WRB today to schedule a consultation or learn more about how we can help you and yours get the sleep you need and deserve.