Sleep enhances cognitive functioning and influences moods. Having enough sleep contributes to a more positive mood. When the brain lacks the sleep it needs, brain systems become out of balance. Young (and adult) brains become more easily agitated when sleep deprived.
Learning and family interactions can be easily affected by lack of sleep. Here are a few tips to help ensure your family is getting enough of the quality sleep your brains need to keep everyone happier:
- Plan activities to take place before or after children's nap times or before bedtimes.
- Do all you can to keep bedtimes and bedtime routines as consistent as possible.
- Provide calm activities like reading a book, giving a massage, taking a warm bath, or listening to soothing music as part of the bedtime routine.
- Eliminate watching television or using other electronics with bright lights prior to bedtime routines.
- Provide "brain calming" foods as a bedtime snack such as warm milk, a banana, toast with almond butter, or oatmeal with a bit of peanut butter added.
A research study reported in Child Development found, "Higher proportions of total sleep occurring at night time, at both 12 and 18 months, were related to better performance on executive tasks, especially those involving a strong impulse control component."
This post provides valuable information on sleep pattern issues in babies. This is very helpful for parents wanting to understand sleep regression.
If you are looking for resources to help promote sleep, Lori Lite of Stress Free Kids provides Music CDs for Relaxation.
The following guide might be very useful for you as well.
The Average Amount of Sleep Needed By Age
|Newborns (0-2 months)||12 - 18|
|Infants (3 months to 1 year)||14 - 15|
|Toddlers (1 to 3 years)||12 - 14|
|Preschoolers (3 to 5 years)||11 - 13|
|School-aged children (5 to 12 years)||10 - 11|
|Teens and preteens (12 to 18 years)||8.5 - 10|
|Adults (18+)||7.5 - 9|