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Well-Being


Drift Off to DREAMLAND


YOU NEED YOUR ZZZ — AT EVERY AGE 





ne of the most common concerns of parents is maintaining their children’s


sleep schedule. They may have difficulty getting their kids to sleep, or children may awaken frequently during the night. Get- ting their kids into bed and having them stay there become a nightly challenge. Getting enough sleep is essential at any


age. Tips on helping your children get the required amount follow.


Establish a Nighttime Pattern Nighttime routines are as equally important as daytime routines. A regular bedtime hour helps your kids fall asleep, stay asleep and awaken rested and refreshed. This is especially important because


when children of all ages don’t sleep, they may be irritable, easily frustrated and, at times, may appear hyperactive. We know from research that children who don’t sleep a sufficient number of hours per night are more likely to have a difficult time paying attention in school, have mood changes and may even experience weight gain. It is clearly important to establish a regular routine for each child and, in fact, doing so can help take the stress out of bedtime, too! There are no hard-and-fast bedtime


rules. Every child is unique and may have different needs for a sleep routine. What’s most important is to build a routine that


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works for your family and keeps everyone on task. In order to establish a routine, you should know how much sleep each child needs. Cur- rent pediatric sleep hours for each age- group recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine follow.


* Infants 4 to 12 months: 12 to 16 hours of sleep every 24 hours (including naps).


* Children 1 to 2 years: 11 to 14 hours of sleep every 24 hours (including naps).


* Children 3 to 5 years: 10 to 13 hours of sleep every 24 hours (including naps).


* Children 6 to 12 years: 9 to 12 hours of sleep every 24 hours.


* Teens 13 to 18 years: 8 to 10 hours of sleep every 24 hours.


Additionally, it is essential to understand


circadian rhythms, which are important for all living creatures. Circadian rhythms, or the sleep-wake cycle, are regulated by light and dark. These rhythms begin to develop at about six weeks, and, by three to six months, most infants have a regular sleep-wake cycle. By two years of age, most children have spent more time asleep than awake. Overall, kids will spend 40 percent of their childhood asleep. Suggestions to improve not only each


child’s sleep routine — but your entire fam- ily’s — follow.


www.readysetgrowmag.com


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