Sleep

Think quality and quantity when it comes to sleep

Getting enough sleep should be part of your child’s healthy lifestyle habits. Quality sleep in sufficient quantity is associated with improved learning capacity and mood management. What’s more, lack of sleep in young people has been linked to an increased risk of overweight and obesity.

The number of hours of sleep required varies from one child to another. Some kids are big sleepers, while others don’t need as much shut-eye. Either way, a few measures can be taken to promote a good night’s sleep for your children.

Here’s what the Canadian Sleep Society has to say:

  • The bedtime routine is very important, especially for younger children. It facilitates the transition from daytime activities to bedtime. A typical bedtime routine might include a snack, followed by teeth brushing and a story read with/by a parent.

  • Children should go to bed and get up at the same time, as often as possible. Even on weekends, it is preferable to avoid varying the weeknight routine by more than 30 minutes.

  • The bedroom should be a calm and comfortable environment. Screens of all kinds should be banned from the bedroom, and the temperature should be cool and pleasant for sleeping.

  • Beds are for sleeping. Kids should avoid watching TV, eating, or doing homework in bed. It is also recommended that parents refrain from punishing their children by sending them to bed. Their bed should be an enjoyable place.

  • Avoid foods and drinks that contain caffeine before bedtime, i.e., cola, chocolate, energy drinks like Red Bull or others, and tea or coffee for older teens.

Active kids sleep better

Did you know that kids who are active during the day and expend their energy tend to sleep better? After a long day out of doors, you’ll notice that your kids drop off to sleep in no time—another good reason to keep them active!