Sleep Routines

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says that school-age children should get at least 9 hours of sleep a night.

Children who slept less than nine hours were more likely to have behavior problems, do poorly in school, and be overweight or obese.

The Academy says that ideally, pre-school children should get 11-13 hours of sleep a night, and school-aged children should get 10-11 hours a night.

Here are the Academy’s tips to help your child sleep better:

1. Follow a consistent bedtime routine. Set aside 10 to 30 minutes to get your child ready to go to sleep each night.

2. Establish a relaxing setting at bedtime.

3. Interact with your child at bedtime. Don’t let the TV, computer or video games take your place.

4. Keep your children from TV programs, movies and video games that are not right for their age.

5. At bedtime, do not allow your child to have foods or drinks that contain caffeine. This includes chocolate and sodas. Try not to give him or her any medicine that has a stimulant at bedtime. This includes cough medicines and decongestants.

6. Don’t send your child to bed hungry, but don’t eat a big meal right before bedtime.

7. Your child’s bedroom should be quiet, as dark as she will allow, and a little cool.