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Mar 23

What time do your children go to bed ?

We have a very strict routine in our household – bedtime for all our children(they range from 6-13) during the week is by 8 pm – they should try to sleep which mostly they do or otherwise read.

Not only de we believe children need a good nights sleep but we need an evening!

It seems logical that children who have to get up early and are engaged in busy school timetables should have down time away from each other and hopefully a good nights sleep.

Sleep guidelines for children suggest up to 12 + hours sleep a night -

2 to 3 years 10.5 to 12.5 hours; 4 to 5 years 12 hours; 6 years 11.5 hours; 7 to 11 years 9.5 to 11.5 hours

A report out today however is showing children going to bed as late at 11.30 and expecting to be up and bright by 8 am the following morning.

Dr Pat Spungin, child psychologist and family life specialist, said: “I agree there is very little information available to parents about the importance of a good night’s sleep. Parents should be concerned about the effects of sleep deprivation on their children, as lack of sleep has a negative effect on a child’s mood, concentration and attention. Research also shows that children who are sleep deprived do less well academically, show more problem behaviour and have lower levels of social skills.

“Scientific evidence shows that adequate night-time sleep is just as important as healthy eating and regular exercise for children to develop.’

Here are some tips to help you:

1. Establish a regular time for bed each night and do not vary from it

2. Create a relaxing bedtime routine, give your child a warm bath or shower

3. Make bedtime fun – read your child a story

4. Do not give your child any food or drinks with caffeine prior to bedtime

5. Avoid giving your child a large meal before bedtime

6. Make after dinner playtime a relaxing time as too much activity close to bedtime can keep children awake

7. Exercise should be included in your child’s day to help them sleep well

8. There should be no TV or music playing while your child is going to sleep

9. Ensure the temperature in the bedroom is comfortable

10. Make sure the noise level in the house is low

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