How many hours of sleep does your child really need?
New Delhi, Aug 20 (IANSlife) Do your children wake up late every day? Then, you should be happy as it is a good sign that your child is sleeping well. But you have to worry when the child fails to wake up even after several alarms and you literally have to drag your child out of the bed. There are many children who fail to get sound sleep at night and feel lethargic and are unable to focus on studies during day time.
Is your child cranky? Is your kid unable to concentrate on studies or do their daily chores with ease? Then, he/she must encounter sleep problems. Yes, you have heard right! Many children become night owls, and that takes a toll on their overall well-being. Sleep is vital for young children. Early in life, one experiences tremendous development that impacts the brain, body, emotions, and behaviour and sets the stage for their growth through childhood and adolescence.
Having a sound sleep at night can help children lead healthy lives. Thus, from babies to school-aged kids and teenagers, parents might be keen to know many hours of sleep is essential for their child.
New-borns' need to get around 14 hours of sleep, infants need around 15 hours of sleep, toddlers need approximately 14 hours of sleep, pre-school children need around 10-13 hours of sleep while school-going children of 6-13 age need around 9 hours of sleep.
Here are a few foolproof tricks to help your child get sound sleep at night:
* Allow your child to get at least 10 to 11 hours of sleep every day without fail. If your child has a habit of sleeping late then make bedtime earlier half-an-hour as doing so will help your child wake up on time, and he/she will not have to miss online classes.
* Try to maintain the same schedule and your child will be able to sleep peacefully and complete his/her sleep properly. Create a consistent bedtime routine to calm down the child and make him/her sleep on an immediate basis.
* You will have to limit your child's exposure to electronic gadgets at least 1 hour before sleeping. Do not allow your child to play games on the mobile or watch television before hitting the sack as doing so can snatch away the child's sleep.
* Avoid caffeine and sugary drinks, particularly in the second half of the day as it hampers good sleep. Don't let your child drink a lot of water before sleeping as he/she will have to make continuous trips to the loo and the sleep will be disturbed.
* Maintain good lighting and temperature in the kid's room. Don't fill up the child's bed with toys and heavy blankets that will suffocate the child and make him/her uncomfortable. Use a good pillow and mattress that will support your child's back and neck. Improper mattress and pillow can lead to back and neck pain.
If your child has any sleep problems such as loud or heavy breathing, snoring, and even waking up after regular intervals then you need to consult the doctor. Make sure your child gets enough sleep on a regular basis so that he/she can stay healthy and hearty.
By Mubashshir Muzammil Khan
(Mubashshir Muzammil Khan, Consultant Paediatrician & Neonatologist, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar)