“Making sure your child gets good, sound sleep ensures he or she will have a sound foundation for proper mind and body development.” (Michael J. Breus, PhD)
While the country is in mandatory lock down, it can be easy to put our daily routine on the back burner. While it might be fun to stay up late, sleep in, and lounge around during the day, routine is actually very vital to, not only ours, but our children’s daily life, especially our sleep schedule. Following a routine provides a sense of stability and safety. In this time of quarantine, where children really don’t understand the extent of what is going on, it is vital to keep their home environment a place where they feel secure.
If you’re finding it hard to keep a consistent schedule throughout the day, let’s take the stress away and focus on the one thing that is most important in childhood development, their sleep. Sleep helps extend our attention span, assists in making rational decisions and helps your creativity. While asleep, your brain goes into a detox state, releasing toxins out of your body. Sleep is medicine. When you are deprived of sleep, it distresses your immune system.
The recommended amount of sleep varies by age. Following are some general guidelines that can be found on WebMD:
1-4 Weeks Old: 15-16 hours per day, but only in short periods of abou 2-4 hours.
1-4 Months Old: 14-15 hours per day, longest periods running 4-6 hours occuring more regularly in the evenings.
4-12 Months Old: 14-15 hours per day, with 3 naps per day, dropping to 2 naps at about 6 months old, at which time they are physically capable of sleeping through the night (if they aren’t already).
1-3 Years Old: 12-14 hours per day, reducing to only one nap per day at around 18-21 months old.
3-6 Years Old: 10-12 hours per day, naps gradually become shorter and usually stop by about age 5.
7-12 Years Old: 10-11 hours per day.
12-18 Years Old: 8-9 hours per day.
With COVID-19 going around it is important that we take action. Let’s play our part in keeping our bodies healthy by getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Though getting your kids to wind down and ready for sleep might be challenging, there are many ways to relax and unwind before sleep. A few examples are meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or reading a book. What are ways that you like to wind down? Send us what winding down looks like for you and your family, so that we as a community can help each other catch some Zzz’s, keep our bodies healthy and our brains happy.