Many parents around the country try successfully or unsuccessfully to keep their children healthy. Eating well, and reminding them to wash their hands, are some of the many things we as parents remind our children to do. But, one of the things that researchers know that can benefit your child now and in the future is getting enough sleep. Researchers have found that children with late bedtimes are more likely to be obese as adolescents than those with early bedtimes (8:00 pm) http://www.jpeds.com/article/S0022-3476(16)30361-4/abstract. The difference between early bedtimes and late bedtimes for children’s obesity in their adolescent years is approximately 13%. Turning off the TV and electronic devices to ensure proper rest for our children seem to be something we can do as parents that will benefit our children all their lives.
For preschoolers and kindergartner children an 8:00 p.m. bedtime is feasible, but for older children, the idea of sending them to bed at 8:00 p.m. seems a bit ridiculous.That’s why the new recommendation guidelines from The American Academy of Sleep Medicine breaks down children by age and the recommended amount of sleep children should get daily.
- Babies 4 months to 12 months should get 12 to 16 hours
- Children 1 to 2 years old should get 11 to 14 hours
- Children 3 to 5 years old should get 10 to 13 hours
- Children 6 to 12 years old should get nine to 12 hours
- Teenagers 13 to 18 years old should get eight to 10 hours
Many researches agree that not only early bed times are important, but the number of hours of sleep children get on a daily basis. Letting our children’s bodies get the rest they need improves their capacity to concentrate at school, and researches have found that getting enough sleep benefits their mental health as well.
Next time before turning on the TV at night, ask yourself if that is really a good choice for your family. Read a book, do a puzzle, or any other activity that will keep your children on a good bedtime schedule.