Help your kids form healthier sleeping habits with these tips, backed by research.It’s summertime for your kids, which means more play dates, more sleepovers, and less school – but also less sleep. As your kids go to sleep later in the night and later into the next morning, it gets harder and harder to set a routine.
Children need a lot more sleep than their parents. According to the National Sleep Foundation, children aged six to thirteen should get between nine and eleven hours of sleep a night. Unfortunately, bad sleeping habits are associated with long-term negative health effects like obesity, high-blood pressure and diabetes.
Here are 5 ways, according to research, to help your kids get on a regular sleep schedule this summer:
1. Include calming activities before bedtime
Avoiding exciting, stimulating activities before bed ensures your child isn’t buzzing when its bedtime – and that you aren’t exhausted by the end of it. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, a positive bedtime routine involves soothing and pleasurable activities before your child’s bedtime. Try giving your child a relaxing bath or reading them a bedtime story. Calming actions will get them to wind down and get a more restful night’s sleep.
2. Keep a consistent bedtime
No matter how calming the bedtime routine is, if it’s not around the same time every night, signals can get crossed. According to a 2015 multinational study, having a regular bedtime routine is associated with better sleep. Children with a consistent bedtime routine every night slept on average for an hour longer than those that didn’t, resulting in decreased daytime behavioral problems and sleep problems.
3. Turn off those electronic devices
Excessive screen time can impair brain function and attention span, and doing so right before bed will get your child more stimulated than relaxed. According to a 2015 review study, screen time is adversely related to sleep outcomes, which could have a harmful effect on their well being as time goes on.
Other research indicates that playing electronic games before bedtime affects sleep latency and REM sleep, which means your child gets less restful sleep. So maybe save that next round of Angry Birds for the daytime.
4. Avoid big sugary bedtime snacks
Sugar-laden drinks or caffeinated foods like chocolate may be tempting for your kids, but to their biological clock it’s a disaster waiting to happen. Avoid caffeinated foods a couple hours before bedtime to ensure the best sleep for your child.
5. Choose the right mattress for your child
Sure, that racecar bed looks cool, but its no good for sleep if the mattress isn’t just right. According to the Better Sleep Council, as kids grow, they need supportive and comfortable bedding to make sure they have enough space to move around comfortably as they grow.
One easy way to get a great night of sleep for your kids? Invest in a mattress from your friends at Mattress Firm in Corpus Christi, Texas. Comfort is key, and with Mattress Firm, your kids could be well on their way to snoozing away the summer nights.
Take advantage of Mattress Firm’s 4th of July sale, and start your Independence Day week off right with better sleep for you and the whole family!
Check out our Facebook page with more deals and info about all the exciting things we’re doing this year.
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