School’s out. Sun’s out. Are your kids out? With the summer in full swing, the sun and warm wind can be inviting to your kids. They want to stay awake and cram as much play as possible into the day, especially when the sun is still up. But is it taking a toll on your child’s sleep habits?
Many parents, especially working parents need to wake their children early in order to get them to a childcare center and home child care provider, or camp. After a long day of playing, this can throw the child’s sleep schedule into a tailspin.
It is recommended by many sleep experts that kids get what is considered to be enough sleep in order to support their growing bodies and expanding mental capacities. According to the Sleep Foundation, newborns 0-3 months of age need 14-17 hours per day; infants 4-11 months of age need 12-15 hours; toddlers 1-2 years of age, 11-14 hours; preschoolers 3-5 years of age need 8-9 hours, while children 6-13 years of age, 7-8 hours per night; and teenagers 14 + need 7-11 hours of sleep per night.
While these hours are not always spent in one sleep session, it’s important to understand the effect that missing even 30-60 minutes of sleep can take on someone whose body and mind is still developing at warp speeds. Instead of dozing off and yawning all day like a drowsy adult does, a child who is sleep-deprived will act hyper and show symptoms of what may look like attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). This can lead to parents and pediatricians possibly mistaking those symptoms, ultimately treating a disorder that’s not actually there.
Generations have believed that sleep can heal a multitude of ails, but the lack of it can play tricks on us. Make sure your child gets enough sleep so they can be the best version of themselves.