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MAIN Arrow to Health Health Arrow to Kid's Health Kids Health Arrow to Child Development Sleep

kids health
Child Development

Behavior | Growth

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How much sleep do children need?

Is it really important to fit in that afternoon nap even if the child doesn't want it?

What happens when kids don't get the recommended amount of sleep?

These are just some questions that parents, new and "experienced" ones alike, want answered.

Nap time

Every child is different. Therefore, what might help one child's sleep habits might not make a wink of difference to another.

The solution to common sleep difficulties may all come down to getting to know your child and their particular sleep habits. For example, a preschool teacher can require a nap time which might work just fine for little Suzy, but may keep little Johnny up for two extra hours after his regular bedtime. So don't be shy about discussing your preschooler's sleep habits with teachers or other caretakers. They will be glad you did.

The importance of a good night's sleep

At night, make it easier on yourself and your child, say the experts, by planning for a regular routine and pleasant kids bedtime ritual. Allow kids to have some control over bedtime by letting them choose a favorite book to read before sleep, or by giving them a say on their favorite cartoon theme sheets or other bedding that make sleeptime fun.

Since sleep deprived children (as well as adults) have more trouble controlling their emotions, this means that for kids especially not getting enough sleep can lead to trouble with paying attention in school as well as difficulties with learning and behavior.

Kids' sleep disorders

Although sleep apnea in adults is more prevalent, 50,000 children and toddlers in the US alone are estimated to suffer from childhood sleep apnea that effects kids breathing patterns while asleep. Symptoms include excessive snoring, wheezing or restlessness. Some childhood experts the condition say may be simply remedied by encouraging infants and toddlers to sleep on their tummies, although continuing symptoms in older children and teens might warrant a trip to the doctor for evaluation and treatment.

Other kids' sleep disorders may be caused by asthma, food or environmental allergies, or constant disruption of regular sleep cycles.

also see in the How-To Library -> How to Fall Asleep


More about the importance of sleep for kids around the Web:

Elsewhere on the Web, learn more about sleep and nap time with expert advice on bedtime rituals, tips on developing good habits, and how important sleep is to you and your family ... - How much sleep do children need? - Answers the questions about the importance of sleep in children of all ages. Good advice on bedtime rituals.

Kids Health - All About Sleep - Sleeping & bedtime discussed in detail with tons of great tips and related resources.

Sleep for Kids - Great site for children to learn the importance of sleep with advice from P.J. Bear who teaches all the important details, plus sleep-related games and puzzles.


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