An American Academy of Pediatrics study showed that when children ages 7 - 11 added just 27 minutes of sleep to their night they saw a significant improvement in not only absorbing curriculum, but regulating their emotions and controlling their impulses.On the flip side, children whose sleep time was decreased, had decreased function in these same areas.
Emotion and impulse control are areas looked at to diagnose some behavioral issues, like ADHD, so it's important to make sure more sleep isn't a simple solution to behavior problems.
How much sleep does your child need? The National Sleep Foundation says children
1-3 years need 12 - 14 hours
3 -5 years need 11 - 13 hours
5-12 years need 10-11 hours and
12 and up need 8 - 9 hours of sleep each night.
Tips for an easy bedtime:
- Keep a consistent bedtime (it doesn't have to be immovable, just regular).
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine.
- Turn off electronic stimulation an hour before bed and keep TVs and computers out of the bedroom.
- Avoid caffeine.
- Once your children have been put to bed, be firm -- don't let your kids stall or get out of bed.