Kids and sleep

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Babies and young children may sleep between 10 and 18 hours per day, but by the time a child reaches school-age, he or she may be well-rested after getting between 9 and 11 hours.

■ Metro Service

Adequate sleep is important for children’s health, states the American Academy of Pediatrics. Quality sleep is just as important as well visits and protective immunizations. Babies and young children may sleep between 10 and 18 hours per day, but by the time a child reaches school-age, he or she may be well-rested after getting between 9 and 11 hours. Sleep is vital for the body to recover and rebuild and for the brain to process new information. The Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Boston Children’s Hospital says that children who are not getting enough sleep may experience difficulty learning new tasks. Parents who want to foster good sleeping habits in their children can try the following strategies.
• Set a smart bedtime and nap schedule.
• Do not allow the use of electronics approximately one hour prior to bedtime.
• Create a regular bedtime routine that includes winding down and cues that rest is coming.
• Stick to the same schedule every day of the week—including weekends.
• Make sure kids get daily exercise, which can make it easier for them to grow tired around bedtime.
• Create a cool, comfortable and dark sleeping environment.

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