Irritability, tantrums, bad moods and sometimes even unexplained crying fits tend to be some of the symptoms parents can readily identify as: lack of sleep. The problem is that, at times, we don’t really know how many hours are enough and what the recommended amount of sleep is for children according to their age.
For this reason, the Academia Cotopaxi school community recommends that you take note of the following tips, which will help you to understand the sleep needs of the youngest members of your family. In this instalment, we will be discussing the sleep hygiene of children in the preschool stage (1 to 5 years of age).
Early Childhood (from 1 to 3 years of age): Children at this age tend to need anywhere from 10 to 13 hours of sleep, including an afternoon nap lasting one to three hours. Younger children within this group (closer to one year of age) may need to continue napping twice during the day, but they should not do this close to their bedtime at night, as it makes it difficult for them to fall asleep and sleep well.
Preschool Stage (from 3 to 5 years of age): On average, preschoolers sleep between 10 and 12 hours during the night, taking a nap in the afternoon. The majority stop napping around five years of age.
–Clearly-Established Schedules: Sleep should be part of a routine and it is therefore necessary to have set hours for going to bed and getting up.
–Create a “Before-Bed” Ritual: It is important to create an atmosphere that is conducive to sleep, which may include a bath, reading, brushing teeth, etc.
–The Bedroom is for Sleeping: Children should be able distinguish the different uses of rooms in the home and understand that their bedroom is for relaxation and sleep, which allows them to get into the proper mood and disposition for sleeping. We recommend not keeping electronic devices such as television and computers in the bedroom.
–A Light Supper: Heavy meals before bed can make children uncomfortable before sleeping; however, it is not a good idea for them to go to bed feeling hungry either. Seek a healthy balance.
Do you believe that a good sleep makes a difference in a child’s predisposition for learning? Do you have some tips of your own to help children sleep well? Share you experiences with us!