Tips for Promoting Healthy Sleep Habits in Children
Tips for Promoting Healthy Sleep Habits in Children
PUBLISHED: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 by Andilynn Feddeler

Although sleep recommendations for kids sometimes vary, there is no doubt that good sleep can boost kids’ health, moods, and even learning. Kids who get an adequate amount of sleep every night may benefit from improved immunity, memory, attention span, and overall well-being. Along with these benefits, establishing a consistent sleep pattern at an early age can encourage healthy habits later on. Some parents may struggle to ensure the best sleep possible for their children, but with these general guidelines, kids (and adults!) can become better rested and ready to take on the day.

  • Keep screens out of the bedroom. A lot of parents are met with resistance when trying to implement this rule, but watching TV or staring at the phone before bed really can interfere with sleep quality. Gradually removing screens from the bedtime routine and explaining the benefits of doing so will likely sit better with kids than imposing strict rules and punishments.

  • Avoid caffeine and unhealthy snacks. Older kids and teens who may drink soda or energy drinks should avoid doing so within 6 hours before bedtime, as caffeine can significantly disrupt sleep. Similarly, choosing smart and healthy foods before bedtime rather than greasy, salty, or sugary snacks can promote healthier sleep.

  • Keep consistent routines. It’s easy to want to stay up late and sleep in on weekends, but keeping similar wake-up times and bedtimes makes it easier for kids to fall asleep and get up in the morning. On the same note, having an appropriate and well-established bedtime routine that stays generally the same day to day can make the whole process more enjoyable.

  • Stay active. Studies have shown that physical activity in kids can improve sleep by allowing them to fall asleep quicker and experience less wakes in the night. Staying active has many other benefits, too, including better general health, executive functioning, coordination, and more.