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5 Good Sleep Habits to Set for Your Kids

5 Good Sleep Habits to Set for Your Kids

A good night’s sleep is part of healthy habits for kids. When a child is well-rested, their growth and development will be on the right track. They will be able to focus more on learning and completing tasks because they will be alert. They will also have a better temperament versus a sleepy, exhausted child.

healthy habits for kids

Why Are Good Sleeping Habits Important?

Unfortunately, modern lifestyles have had a negative impact on healthy habits for kids because both parents and children are busy with packed schedules. Mom and dad have work, the kids have homework and after-school activities, and everyone spends long hours in traffic. Evenings are rushed affairs, which do not set the calm and relaxed environment kids need to get into bedtime mode.

A child must get 9 to 11 hours of sleep to wake up rested and function properly. If your child has to wake up at 6 a.m. to get to school, that means shut-eye should be at 8 p.m.

It will help you and your child get the necessary amount of sleep hours by establishing a bedtime routine. This will help your child settle down, fall asleep, and stay in deep sleep throughout the night. Make a bedtime routine part of the healthy habits for kids to prevent stress, learning, and behavioral problems, and ensure proper growth and development.

Try these tips to help your children develop good sleep habits that they will carry over into adulthood.

No late-afternoon naps

A nap is great to refresh little bodies. But if they nap near evening, your kids will not be sleepy enough by bedtime. Get your kids tired with fun activities during the day and take a short nap in the early afternoon. But make sure to wake them by 4 p.m. Kids older than 5 do not really need naps anymore, but that means they need to have an early bedtime and longer hours asleep.

Set a curfew on electronics

The entertainment that video games, a favorite TV show, and social media provide can be stimulating, but there is also another reason why electronic devices keep your child awake. The artificial blue light emitted by screens suppresses melatonin, the hormone that makes us sleepy. Put away gadgets an hour or two before bedtime.

Avoid caffeine

We think caffeine is only in coffee (and we should not serve coffee to children!), but caffeine is also present in many kid-favorites like milk tea and chocolate. So if your child wants to get sleepy, serve warm milk, not hot cocoa. Dessert after dinner can be ice cream, just make sure it is not chocolate-flavored.

Set a bedtime routine

A bedtime routine is one of the healthy habits that signals kids that it is time to go to sleep. This can be brushing teeth together, taking a warm bath, slipping into soft pajamas, reading a book, and saying a prayer. Make sure to stick to your bedtime routine so that your child’s brain will be trained to get sleepy.

Make the bedroom a place for sleep

It is hard to fall asleep if your child’s bedroom is full of stimulation. Make sure your child’s toys are all packed away. There should be no TV or other gadgets in the room. Check that the bedroom is not too hot, too cold, noisy, or bright. Dim the lights during your bedtime routine and read your child’s favorite bedtime story with a lamp. Then turn off the lights.

If your child is afraid of the dark, you can put a small night light near the bed but it should not be too bright.

Key Takeaways

Make a good night’s sleep part of the healthy habits for your kids. You can avoid many behavioral problems like temper tantrums, crankiness, absent-mindedness, and school problems like inability to focus and retain lessons just by making your kids sleep at least 9 hours every night. Their proper growth and development depend on a consistent bedtime.

Learn more about Parenting here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Bedtime habits for infants and children. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002392.htm Accessed Aug 12, 2020

Understanding children’s sleep habits. http://www.sleepforkids.org/html/habits.html Accessed Aug 12, 2020

Why electronics may stimulate you before bed. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/why-electronics-may-stimulate-you-bed Accessed Aug 12, 2020

Surprising foods that contain caffeine. https://www.sleep.org/articles/foods-with-caffeine/ Accessed Aug 12, 2020

Screen time and sleep: children and teenagers, https://raisingchildren.net.au/preschoolers/play-learning/screen-time-healthy-screen-use/screen-time-sleep, Accessed March 29, 2021

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Written by Kristel Lagorza Updated 4 weeks ago
Medically reviewed by John Paul Ferolino Abrina, M.D.
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